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By Major-General His Highness the Maharajadhiraj 
OF Patiala, g.c.s.l, g.c.i.e., g.c.v.o., g.b.e., a.-d.-c. 

(Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes) 

I MIGHT reasonably, perhaps, have expressed my opinion 
long ere this upon the Viceroy’s historic announcement, but 
I preferred to wait in order to give deep thought to that 
remarkable utterance. I realize that what I say will be read 
as coming from one who combines in himself a triple capacity 
as the ruler of Patiala, the Chancellor of the Chamber of 
Princes, and as a true friend of the British Government. 
These various capacities are in no sense exclusive. On the 
contrary, they overlap and are intimately related with each 
other. In each and all of those capacities I welcome His 
Excellency’s pronouncement as timely and statesmanlike. 
Even as far as it goes — and it could not very well have 
^one further — it announces a step, the essential first step, 
towards the ultimate solution of India’s pressing con- 
stitutional problem. I say without hesitation and without 
fear of contradiction that our Mother Country owes 
Lord Irwin a deep debt of gratitude in connection ’’ 
the project of a Round Table Conference between 
Majesty’s Government in England and all the difft 
India interests. Our sense of gratitude to him is infinite 
deepened when we realize, as we all must, the steadfastne.. 
of purpose, the sincerity of conviction, and the persuasive 
advocacy which milj;t have gone to the making of such an 
announce|B3ient in tk 3 present condition of party politics in 

2 The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 

England ; and I would express the fervent hope that nothing 
further would occur to mar the very favourable effect which 
this pronouncement has already had in this country. 

Speaking as a patriotic Indian, I also venture to say that 
Lord Irwin has created a favourable opportunity for the 
early honourable realization of India’s legitimate political 
aspirations through the only effective means — namely, 
friendly negotiation. From the point of view of ray own 
self as a ruler and of the Princes generally, I feel myself 
warranted in affirming that by ensuring the association of 
the Princes of India wdth the negotiations now recognized 
as indispensable, he has done much to put heart into 
a body which, while remaining staunch to the British con- 
nection, has not felt itself the gainer for its unflagging 
fidelity. In British India opinion on this point could not 
be, without exception, united. There was bound to be some 
variety of view, some difference of opinion. 

It is no wonder that some people should have scented 
danger in the recent tendency to joint action on the part 
of the Princes, but I think I am correctly representing 
the public mind when I say that the phrase “neither 
can afford to ignore the other” embodies the mutual feel- 
ings of British India and the States. To those who feel 
justified in distrusting our association I would merely say 
that the Princes were never willing — and if it were possible 
they are less so today — to submit to being employed as 
tools or levers to retard the progress towards the destined 
goal of their brethren outside their own territories. 

British India is asking for Dominion Status. I speak 
with due diffidence, but, so far as I understand the matter, 
that phrase has not aUvays carried the same rigidly defined 
connotation. It meant one thing before the Great Warj it 
means something else today. Things evolve in the passage 
of time. They have to; they must be allowed to. 

Within the orbit of the British Empire there are today 
various dominions, each of which has a status of its own 
vis-a-vis the world and the Empire. India will have to 
ave her own constitution. The Viceroy has ensured that 
la s constitutional problem will be solved in a dignified 
ner and, let us hope, to the satisfaction of all parties 
.erned, and thus all such untoward developments w'ould 
e averted, as might have created insurmountable barriers 
letween British India and Indian India and might have 
resulted in widespread and avoidable human suffering. I 
most prnestly trust that such a great opportunity wfill not 
be missed for the sake of mere sei timent, party gain. 

The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 3 

or personal prestige. The higher interest of the Mother- 
land, I have no doubt, will be permitted to transcend 
all such ephemeral considerations. At the same time, it 
is obvious that the maximum advantage can be derived 
from this unique opportunity only if we compose all our 
differences and go to the conference truly united in heart 
and mind. I am sure it is a great satisfaction to my 
brother Princes, as it is to me, to find that there is to be 
representation of the States at the Round Table Conference. 
The question arises. What should be the position of the 
States in the constitution that will come into being within 
the next year or two and also in the form it may assume at a 
later date ? I have tried to answer this question to myself, 
and I find that my thought is being expressed by Kipling’s 
well-known verse ; 

“ Daughter am I in my mother’s house, 

But mistress in my own.” 

This has been the insistent claim of the present genera- 
tion of Indian Princes. It must be, it will be, the claim 
of the States vis-a-vis any government of India. 

If it were necessary to make the position of myself and 
my brother Princes still clearer, I would recall the famous 
resolution of the Imperial Conference of 1926, which read : 
“ Their position and mutual relation may be readily defined. 
They are autonomous communities within the British 
Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to 
another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, 
though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and 
freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth 
of Nations.” 

If one wants to get an approximate notion of the attitude 
of the States, all one has to do is to think of this resolution 
in the light of the history of the British connection with 
the States which is enshrined in their subsisting treaties. 
Eliminate external affairs, slightly qualify equality of 
status with due regard to factors that cannot be ignored, 
substitute for the British Commonwealth of Nations the 
Federated States of India, and you have in a nutshell more 
or less what is in the mind of the States. 

This brings me to the question of Federation. This 
device has been suggested as the likeliest and the best 
solution of the Indian problem by many thinkers and 
endorsed as such by many political leaders in British India. 
They all have, however, insisted that over such a federation 
should be superimposed a strong Central Government. It 

4 The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 

should be obvious that if the States are expected to consent 
to federation, they cannot very well be left entirely outside 
that strong Central Government, whatever form their 
inclusion might take ; and whatever form may be devised it 
can only be introduced with their free and willing consent. 

From the published correspondence it is apparent that, 
although the original terms of Sir John Simon’s Com- 
mission strictly confined both investigation and recom- 
mendations to British India, the Commission is now able 
to formulate proposals which must directly concern the 
States and may radically affect their interests. This may 
turn out to be a piece of good fortune for the States from 
their own point of view. It may easily be otherwise. 
Therefore it needs to be said plainly and without flinching 
that at present there is a real danger lest the cause of the 
States should go by default. 

Sir John and his colleagues, who did not themselves 
investigate the problem of the States, will only have before 
them (fl) the evidence of British Indian witnesses on the 
Indian Constitutional problem in which the States figure 
as a factor and are dealt with from the British Indian point 
of view; and {b) the report of the Butler Committee. This 
imposes upon us the necessity not merely of offering our 
observations upon every aspect of the Butler Committee’s 
report, but, if we get time for the necessary preparation 
before the Round Table Conference, of ventilating our 
views on the place of the States in any future constitution 
of India to which His Majesty’s Government may be led 
to give their imprimatur. 

I trust that my quotation of Kipling’s verse and my 
reference to the resolution of the Imperial Conference will 
indicate the mind of the States in this behalf, and that the 
indication will be of some use to Sir John Simon. But 
even so it is necessary to state that the report of the Simon 
Commission will probably be drafted before the Chamber 
of Princes meets in February, and that recommendations 
will have been formulated without the Princes having had 
an opportunity either to discuss with the Commission 
questions bearing on their own position or the evidence 
that was tendered before that Commission. 

Clearly India in general and the States in particular 
are at the parting of the ways. We (the States) naturally 
desire not merely to preserve our identity, but those rights 
which, as our treaties make apparent, were retained only 
after great sacrifices at the altar of difficult circumstances. 
In view of that fact the present position requires that we 

The Princes and the Viceroy's Announcement 5 

should do all that in us lies to regain any rights that may 
have been lost to us through" various circumstances for 
which we were not responsible. Indeed, to do this is a 
duty which we owe primarily to our subjects and also to 
our posterity, and we shall be unworthy representatives of 
our forebears if we flinch from this task. I do not, how- 
ever, disguise from myself the fact that it is essential that 
we respect the temper of the modern age and accord our 
administrations to modern standards with due regard to 
our ancient polities, the traditions of our individual States, 
and the existing local conditions. If the much talked of 
Federation between the Indian States and British India 
is to fructify, it would be essential that each one of the 
Federated States should be internally autonomous, and 
that all should in due course attain a fairly uniform level 
of good administration, though not necessarily by identical 
methods. So long as the States and British India earnestly 
combine in the pursuit of the common end of single-minded 
service of India and of the Empire, it would remain a 
question for consideration whether even today the rulers of 
States have any different purpose in view than have either 
the present Government of India or the present generation 
of British Indian political leaders. 


By Major-General His Highness the Maharaja of 
Bikaner, g.c.s.i., g.c.i.e., g.c.v.o., g.b.e., 

K.C.B., A.-D.-C., LL.D. 

As a patriotic Indian devoted to his Motherland, as a 
Ruler of an Indian State who, in common with his subjects, 
has a real stake in the country, and as a Ruling Prince 
deeply attached to His Imperial Majesty the King- 
Emperor by inalienable ties of unflinching loyalty, I sin- 
cerely welcome the momentous declaration authoritatively 
made by His Excellency the Viceroy at the beginning of 
November on Dominion status as the ultimate goal for 
British India, and announcing the intention of His 
Majesty’s Government after the Simon Commission has 
reported to invite representatives of different parties and 
interests in British India, as well as the representatives of 
Indian States, to a Conference for the purpose of seeking 
the greatest possible measure of agreement in regard both 

6 The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 

to British Indian and all-Indian issues, so that it may 
be possible for them eventually to submit to Parliament 
such proposals as may command a wide measure of general 

This statesmanlike, courageous, and timely action is a 
further manifestation of the gracious sympathy and abiding 
solicitude of our beloved King-Emperor for the Princes 
and people of India, on whose behalf His Majesty, as 
Prince of Wales, made such an earnest appeal for greater 
sympathy on his return to England after his first visit to 
India; and to whom, as Emperor, His Majesty was further 
pleased, a few years later, to deliver at Calcutta the 
heartening message of faith and hope. Those who have 
the privilege of knowing well our popular Viceroy were 
fully assured of the genuine sympathy and noble senti- 
ments which Lord Irwin entertains for both British India 
and the Indian States. But His Excellency’s recent 
announcement must surely afford the amplest proof to 
everyone of his transparent sincerity of purpose and the 
conscientious manner in which he has faithfully discharged 
his duties during his recent mission to England as India’s 

The fair, liberal, and businesslike manner in which the 
Labour Government tackled the Egyptian and Iraq ques- 
tions so soon after coming into power showed that His 
Majesty’s Government appreciate full well the saying that 
“great empires and narrow minds go ill together,” and 
encouraged me in the belief that problems connected with 
British India and the Indian States would be dealt with 
in the same liberal and statesmanlike spirit and with the 
same breadth of vision and imagination so neessary in 
regard to questions of such significance. We of India — 
to whichever of its two great parts we belong — have good 
reason to be grateful to the Viceroy as well as His Majesty’s 
Govt.^.-nent, and the Secretary of State, Mr. Wedgwood 
Benn, fo 'lus paving the way for the attainment by India 
of its fuh political freedom as an equal and honourable 
member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 

With the Report of the Simon Commission still under 
preparation and the impossibility of anticipating the nature 
of any constitutional changes that may hereafter be pro- 
posed, it is not reasonable to expect more at this stage. 
It is now for the Indian States and British India to demon- 
strate to the world at large that they are jointly and severally 
capable of dealing successfully with, and solving, the 
problems involved in a practical and businesslike manner, 

The Princes and the Viceroy's Announcement 


coupled with reasonableness and good-will and with mutual 
toleration and sympathy and a due appreciation of each 
other’s claims and difficulties. 

There must inevitably be some disappointment at the 
prospect of delay in holding the proposed Conference in 
England. It may not be found feasible to meet before 
the summer of 1931 ; for a severe European winter is not 
the most favourable time for the settlement on amicable 
lines of problems of such grave import to all concerned. 
A few months are of comparatively small importance in 
the lifetime of a nation or a country; and it is perhaps all 
to the good that not only British India but also the Indian 
States should have ample time calmly and carefully to 
study the proposals of the Simon Commission before the 

The minds of the Indian Princes who gathered in Delhi 
at the end of October were never “exercised” as to the 
effect which the forthcoming announcement would have on 
the Indian States as alleged in some papers. Far from 
feeling any apprehensions, the Princes and Governments 
of the Indian States welcome the proposed Round Table 
Conference. They cherish the strong hope that it will 
finally set at rest all the doubts and apprehensions enter- 
tained in the States and clarify the special position of the 
States within the Empire. The Princes, realizing full well 
that they are bound to their brethren in British India by 
ties of blood, race, and religion, have no desire to hamper 
the attainment of Dominion status by British India or to 
be a drag on its constitutional advancement. Nothing is 
further from their desire than to break up the country into 
two discordant halves warring against each other in 
fratricidal feuds ; and they as earnestly look forward to the 
unity of India as their friends the political leaders of 
British India. 

Undue inflexibility in this matter on the part of the 
Princes would be both unpatriotic and unreasonable. They 
have in the past repeatedly emphasized their sympathy with 
the legitimate aspirations of their fellow-countrymen in 
British India, and they went a step further at the Bombay 
Conference in June last when they cordially welcomed the 
prospect of the ultimate attainment of Dominion status by 
British India as an integral part of the British Empire. 
In my speech at the Administrative Conference delivered 
early in October, after expressing the hope that the rumours 
of a Round Table Conference to be convened by the 
Imperial Government were true, I went on to state that the 

8 The Princes and the Viceroy's Announcement 

sympathy and support of the Princes would be forthcoming 
in a very substantial and practical manner at such 

Though various important details have yet to be con- 
sidered and agreed upon, the Princes are not unmindful 
of the full implications of Dominion status now happily 
assured to India. They have openly given expression to 
the belief that the ultimate solution of the Indian problem 
and the ultimate goal — whenever circumstances are^ favour- 
able and the time is ripe for it — is federation : a word 
which has no terrors for the Princes and Governments of 
the States. Ever since 1918 the Princes have been asking 
for some means of joint deliberation on questions of 
common concern affecting British India as well as the 
States. Customs duties ; excise, salt and opium ; railways 
and means of transport and inter-communication, including 
aerial navigation ; posts and telegraphs ; wireless and radio 
broadcasting ; as well as the fiscal and financial problems of 
coinage and currency, banking and exchange — these are 
all questions affecting the two constituent parts of the 
country and requiring joint deliberation between their re- 
spective Governments. The policy hitherto pursued in the 
absence of joint deliberation has been not only unjust to 
the interests of the States, but has benefited the Govern- 
ment and people of British India at the expense of the 

The Princes have long been anxious for an equitable and 
satisfactory settlement as regards the future position of the 
States in the polity of India of the future. This was one 
of their chief objects in asking for the appointment of the 
Indian States Committee; but this aspect of the Indian 
States problems was not dealt with in the Butler Report. 
I anticipate that good — and not harm — will come to the 
States by this question being seriously handled between the 
Imperial Government, the Viceroy, and the Governments 
of the States, by separate negotiations, as well as by dis- 
cussions at the Conference. The wisdom of asking for 
the Butler Committee to be appointed will now be more 

What the Princes have all along attached importance to 
is a just recognition of the correct position of the States 
and adequate guarantees and safeguards for the preserva- 
tion and maintenance of their own honourable position as 

Perpetual Allies and Friends,” and for their rights and 
privileges as such in any new polity devised for the 
governance of the country. Naturally they lay special 

The Princes and the Viceroys Announcement 9 

stress upon an obvious point — namely, that in any new 
arrangements under the Dominion form of government any 
adjustment of their future relations with British India 
should be settled only with their free consent on terms just 
and honourable and satisfactory to the States as well as to 
British India. The States cannot be expected to agree to 
any proposals involving a violation of their Treaties or 
infringement of their sovereign rights and internal autonomy 
and independence. British India and the States have 
indisputably existed side by side for a great many years 
as two separate parts with mutual advantage, and it is 
impossible to believe that they cannot so exist in the future 
without anyone desiring to encroach upon the rights of the 
other or wanting the States to merge their separate entity. 
The Princes and States will, therefore, be gratified at 
noting that the scope of the Conference is to be confined 
either to British Indian or all-Indian problems, and that 
questions purely of domestic concern affecting the internal 
autonomy of the States have been wisely eliminated. 

In all their efforts in the past to secure the just rights of 
their States, the Princes as a body have whole-heartedly 
worked in the best interests of their subjects of whose rights 
they are the custodians, and they will endeavour honour- 
ably and consistently to bear in mind their duties towards 
their people and to do their best for them in all future 
negotiations. The Treaties of the States have been entered 
into between the British Government and the Rulers as the 
representative of their people ; and as such the Rulers and 
their Governments, who have every right to stand on their 
constitutional rights, will note with satisfaction that this 
correct distinction has been drawn in the Viceregal state- 
ment and the Prime Minister’s letter by making it clear 
that the invitation of His Majesty’s Government will be 
extended to ‘ ‘ representatives of different parties and 
interests in British India and the representatives of the 
Indian States.” 

It is to be earnestly hoped that determined efforts will 
be made by the leaders and people throughout India, 
wherever and whoever they are, to break through the webs 
of mistrust, which have not only clogged the relations 
between India and Great Britain, but between British India 
and the States. It will be the duty of everyone to con- 
tribute to the success of the Conference by constructive, 
and not destructive, proposals. Whatever mistakes have 
been made on any side, or by any individuals, in the past, 
now, with the prospects once again bright for India, we 

lo The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 

ought, each and every one of us, to remember the eloquent 
and moving appeal made by His Royal Highness the Duke 
of Connaught in 1921, “to bury along with the dead past 
the mistakes and misunderstandings of the past, to forgive 
where you have to forgive, and to join hands and to work 
together to realize the hopes that arise from today,” and 
thus bring about, in His Excellency the Viceroy’s words, 
“the touch that carries with it healing and health” by 
which we may all contribute to the good of Greater India 
and of the Empire. 

By Colonel His Highness the Maharaja of Alwar, 

G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. 

I cordially welcome the decision to convene a Conference 
or conferences where British Indians will place their views 
before the Government of the day, and similarly Indian 
Princes will also put their points of view forward. Avenues 
are to be explored as to how in the future the relations of 
what is now called the Greater India are to be examined 
which should exist between the two Indias. 

It is only natural that I should feel exultation over this 
announcement, for during the period of the Viceroyalty of 
Lord Reading, and again within the first month of the 
arrival of Lord Irwin, I pressed to the best of my ability 
for such conferences to take place in India; for I firmly 
believe that where four eyes meet solutions are arrived at 
quicker between those who want and those who can decide 
than by the interchange of voluminous correspondence, 
or by means of ascertaining views through deputies. I 
therefore offer my whole-hearted and sincere congratula- 
tions to His Majesty’s Government and the Viceroy, as well 
as to Sir John Simon, for taking the right course and one 
which should be the harbinger of many right understand- 
ings, and, as I devoutly hope, the satisfactory solution of 
the outstanding problems for all concerned. The decision 
to convene the Conference, I am glad to see, is one about 
which there is almost complete unanimity of opinion alike 
in official and unofficial circles. 

The second question to which I make reference is that 
of the two much discussed words in the Viceroy’s pro- 
nouncement, • Dominion status,’— which His Excellency 

The Princes and the Viceroy s Announcement 1 1 

defined to be the ultimate goal for British India. The 
Viceroy’s pronouncement seems, even to one with such a 
limited knowledge of the English language as myself, to be 
a perfectly clear declaration. The momentous announce- 
ment of August, 1917, made in the House of Commons 
by Mr. Montagu, declared emphatically that progressive 
responsible government, under certain conditions, was to 
be the goal before British India. 

For the Viceroy to say now, in consultation with His 
Majesty’s Government, that that announcement implied 
ultimate Dominion status seems to most of us the state- 
ment of a foregone conclusion — for what else could it 
denote ? What was this responsible Government going to 
lead to ? Surely not chaos ! What does that Dominion 
status mean ? Everybody knows that the situation in India 
is different in important respects from that of the other 
self-governing Dominions of the Empire, such as Canada, 
Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Newfoundland, 
and Ireland. Firstly, there is the question of the Indian 
States who are in Treaty relations with the Crown, as has 
always been known and has recently been emphasized by 
the Butler Committee, having their relations adjusted by 
their own free-will with the future governance of India. 
And, secondly, whilst in these Dominions, particularly in 
South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the 
Dominion status applies to the settlers in those countries, 
in India it would apply to the indigenous inhabitants of 
that great sub-continent. 

If, then, responsible government is to be the method, 
surely Dominion status is the logical conclusion. Although 
it may possibly require to be worked out on a different 
footing, nevertheless, it will place India in a position of 
equality with her sister Dominions. The many utterances 
made in responsible places on this subject make me think 
that this logical conclusion should be doubted. I have 
often given public expression to my own opinion on this 
subject, and I declare, without hesitation, that a status 
which would place India on a similar footing of equality 
to that of her sister Dominions is a noble aspiration for our 
country and an equally noble goal to be aimed at by those 
in whose hands lies the future progress and advancement 
of India at the present moment. 

The bogey of the Indian States has been held out, 
sometimes with unhappy results, as the alleged obstruction 
in the way of the achievement of this goal. In this con- 
nection let me state what is my view. The King-Emperor 

12 The Princes and the Viceroys Announcement 

is the great connecting-link that unites the Empire, the 
greatest that history has known, and we are proud to be 
partners inside it, be it in a small or large degree. The 
question of the goal does not seem to me in doubt, but the 
difficulties appear when the question of time is considered 
as to when this Dominion status goal might be reached. 
My simple answer to that proposition is ; When, by mutual 
consent between the Government of British India and our- 
selves, our future relations are so adjusted that we can all 
unitedly work towards the achievement of this ideal. The 
Conference that has been proposed will be a fundamental 
factor, I hope, in its realization; but it will remain for each 
one of us concerned to work towards the ideal which, in 
any case, has always been a United States of India, with 
the States working out their destiny in accordance with 
their own traditions and environment, and British India 
going her own way, neither interfering with the other in 
domestic or internal concerns, but uniting together in 
matters of common interest. 

Surely it will be to the glory of the Empire and of the 
great British people when, as the result of over a century 
of rule, my country reaches that position, more than which 
I do not aspire to, when governing her own domestic affairs 
in harmony and co-operation, she may be and remain a loyal 
partner in the British Empire, with the King-Emperor as 
the final link that will keep us all united in loyalty and 
attachment to the Throne. 

As for the Indian States, we have our Treaties with the 
Crown, and we therefore enjoy a unique position un- 
paralleled in the world, for I do not believe such a system 
exists elsewhere. But with the help of the British Govern- 
ment and with their good-will, as also with the co-operation 
and friendliness of our neighbours in British India, if there is 
a will towards co-operation and the spontaneous recognition 
of our individual positions, matters can be adjusted in such 
a way that our future interests, without being jeopardized, 
can become not only a source of happiness and contentment 
to our country, but, as I earnestly believe, a source of 
strength to our Empire, in which we are proud to be 



By Pierre Cordemoy 
{Translated by Miss Nancy Williams) 

[The present is the first of a series of articles designed to familiarize our 
readers with recent progress and coming plans of development in France’s 
Far Eastern possession, and deals with the railways. Although the 
problems involved and the results achieved are not the same as those in 
India, yet they offer interesting comparisons, as will be seen by those who 
have read Sir Clement Hindley’s paper on “ Indian Railway Develof)- 
ments,” published in last October’s issue of the Asiatic Review. The 
author. Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Fouquet of the Reserve in the French Army, 
has, during his service and since his retirement, published a number 
of works, including “ Infantry Tactics : the Lessons of the Russo-Japanese 
War” (Chapelot, 1908) and “The Armies of Modern France” (Berger- 
Levrault, 1908). Under his pseudonym of “Pierre Cordemoy” he has 
written a novel, “ La jolie Berbel,” dealing with the history and customs 
of Alsace towards the end of the Middle Ages. In the last three years he 
has written upon the defence of Indo-China {Revue de Pacifique) on rice 
as a colonial food-product for the national food-supply (published by the 
Government of Indo-China), and on Indo-China and the Colonial Loan 
(published by the Agence ficonomique de I’lndochine in Paris). 

This series will be continued by articles on the road and river 

Under the influence of Western civilization, brought to the 
very threshold of Indo-China and the East Indies by 
France, Great Britain, and Holland, the indigenous 
population of those parts are being borne along in a forward 
movement which is peaceful in character, but offers remark- 
able scope for future development. 

Vast countries, but yesterday impenetrable, which 
used to be the centre of Oriental races, the sanctuary of old 
religions and unchanging civilizations, today are being 
opened up to new ideas, and to opportunities of production 
and commerce which must henceforth influence the whole 
human race. 

Our grandchildren will appreciate better than ourselves 
(since we lack the sense of perspective and impartiality 
necessary for judgment) the true value of the work carried 
out on the shores of the Indian Ocean by Europe in the 
twentieth century. 

Yet even today it may be said that this work is, on the 
whole, firmly established and generous, and that France, 
installed since the end of the nineteenth century in Eastern 


French Development Work in Indo- China 

Indo-China, has helped in carrying it out with a vision, an 
ardour, and an energy worthy of her illustrious past. 

It is equally unquestionable that the public works under- 
taken by the French Government in Indo-China have been 
the necessary channels for the conveyance of the benefits of 
peace, security, and prosperity from the Mother Country to 
European colonists and native peoples. 

There, as elsewhere, our engineers have been the 
unwearying pioneers of modern progress and French ideas, 
at the same time national and for all mankind. For 
grandeur of conception, boldness of execution, for the 
greatness of the difficulties overcome and the results 
obtained, many of the works constructed under their 
direction deserve to be ranked among the most remarkable 
of the age. 

It must be admitted, however, that the work achieved by 
the Governors of Indo-China and their collaborators is not 
only ignored by the great European public, but — which 
does seem surprising — is not always appreciated as it should 
be by those who benefit by it every day of their lives. 
This ignorance borders on an injustice, because it prevents 
the recognition which is due to the men of courage, know- 
ledge, and goodwill who deal with, sustain, and direct the 
task of government. 

We should like, if we may, to remedy this state of things 
by showing very briefly, with the minimum of technical 
details, the conception, execution, and results of the great 
public works undertaken by France since her settlement in 
Indo-China. We will, however, confine ourselves to an 
examination of those works which are of supreme import- 
ance for the development of the colonies of the Indo- 
Chinese Union, that is to say — 

Cornmunications (works of indirect benefit). 

Agricultural hydraulics (works of direct benefit). 

It should be added that the greater part of the information 
contained in this essay comes from a very able and well- 
documented compilation “ Les Travaux Publics de I’lndo- 
Chine,”* by M. Pouyanne, one of the most distinguished 
members of the French Board of Roads and Bridges. 

This high official has for a long time occupied most 
successfully the post of Inspector-General of Public Works 
m Indo-China; he is, therefore, particularly qualified to 
speak with authority on the questions with which we are 
now concerned. 

* Pouyanne, “ Les Travaux Publics de I’lndo-Chine 

Impnmerie d’Extreme-Orient. 

Hanoi : 

French Development Work in Indo-China 


(a) Railways 

For a hundred years the railway has played a very large 
part in the development of every continent, and particularly 
in most of the European colonies. It will be of paramount 
importance for a long time yet, because, in spite of the 
motor-car and the aeroplane, it remains the best means of 
economic transport, quick, cheap, and indispensable to new 

French Indo-China has, at this moment, a railway 
system which is still incomplete, but already able to be of 
powerful assistance in her development. 

We propose to examine this system, its construction, 
situation, and prospects, the value of its permanent way and 
rolling-stock, the conditions of its improvement. 

This study is the more necessary as one can only compute 
exactly the efforts and results obtained by the French by 
making a comparison of the development in mileage of their 
lines with those constructed in the centre and west of the 
Indo-Chinese Peninsula by Siam and Great Britain.* 

I. The System of Railways 

Indo-China has, at the present time, 2,389 kilometres of 
running railways, of which 1,924 are in her own territory 
and 465 in China (Yunnan line). The system comprises 
three groups, of which two (north and south) are worked 
directly by the colony, and the third ( Haiphong- Laokay- 
Yunnanfou) has been conceded to the Compagnie Frangaise 
de Chemins de Fer de I’lndo-Chine et du Yunnan. 

These railways were built in two periods, separated by 
the year i8g8, during which the Doumer programme was 
adopted. Before 1 898 there were constructed, for local needs, 
military or economic only, two comparatively short lines. 

(1) In the thickly populated district of Cochin-China from 
Saigon to Mytho (70 kilometres), open to traffic in 1885. 

(2) The other the Tonkin line, going to Gia Lam, near 
Hanoi, to Dong- Dang, in the neighbourhood of Langson, 
that is to say from the Delta of the Red River to the 
Chinese frontier of Kouangsi.f 

* There are about 10,000 kilometres of railways working in the whole of 

British system undertaken in 1875 = 4,700 kilometres. 

Siamese ,, „ 1893 = 2,900 „ 

French „ „ 1881 = 2,400 „ 

t Since 1898 this line has been extended at both ends. On the south, 
since 1 902, it has been linked to Hanoi, crossing the Red River by the 

1 6 French Development Work in Indo-Cktna 

In 1898 Governor-General Doumer drew up, and 
secured the approval of the French Government for, a vast 
programme of construction, notable for a very clear and 
comprehensive conception of the needs and possibilities of 
the Indo-Chinese Union. 

This programme provided in its essentials for the making 
of two great arteries ; 

(1) The line running up into Yunnan, from Haiphong to 
Yunnanfou (849 kilometres) by Laokay ; this links up a rich 
Chinese province, previously without any outlet, with the 
great seaport of Haiphong. This has been in full working 
order since 1910. 

(2) The coastal line of junction with the Transindochinese 
line, about 2,000 kilometres long, destined to realize in a 
practical way the unity of Indo-China by setting up rapid 
and comprehensive communications between the different 
and remote districts that make up this group of colonies. 
This line, which is of paramount importance, has not yet 
been completed. 

Since 1927, 1,236 kilometres of it are working, but there 
are still two gaps ; in Annam from Tourane to Nhatrang ; 
in Cochin-China and Cambodia from Saigon to Phnom- 

When this line is finished it will connect Hanoi to Phnom- 
Penh by the Annam coast, while serving two intermediate 
capitals Hue and Saigon, and it will allow of the exchange 
of produce and the circulation of handicrafts necessary for 
the development of the southern district.'* 

In 1898, and for thirty years, the carrying out of the 
Doumer scheme has gone on with varying fortunes. Many 
obstacles — financial difficulties, the World War, etc. — have 
delayed its fulfilment. However, considerable results have 
been attained already, and even now it may be hoped that 
the project drawn up at the end of the nineteenth century 
will be completely accomplished in about ten years. 

Doumer Bridge, an important metal structure 1,682 metres between the 
abutments. In the north, in 1921, it was extended to Nacham, on the 
navigable reach of the Song-Ky-Kong, a tributary of the Canton River. 
The total length is now 200 kilometres. 

* The Trans-Indo-China Railway has various short branches ; the most 
important go from Tourcham (main line) to I’Arbre Broye (a terminus 
situated on the top of the Langbian plateau). Since 1927 the Langbian 
branch has had 66 kilometres working (of which thirteen are rack-and- 
pinion). Prolonged by a good road, it affects rapid communication 
between Saigon, the capital of the south, and Dalat (the great health resort 
and sumnier capital). The last section from I’Arbre Broye to Dalat more- 
over, has been put under immediate contract. ’ 

French Development Work in Indo-China 17 

The scheme of the French Colonial Loan of 1929 allots 
to the public works and economic machinery of Indo-China 
a round sum of 146 million piastres (1,752 million francs), 
of which 

92 millions will be allotted to the railways. 

40 millions will be allotted to agricultural hydraulics. 

14 millions will be allotted to posts, telegraphs, and 

New Extension Programme. — While working for the 
accomplishment of this programme, the Government of 
Indo-China, in 1921, initiated the study of a new extension 
plan. It is necessary, on the one hand, to prepare for the 
junction of the Colonial Railways with those of Siam and 
British India ; on the other hand, the necessities and possi- 
bilities of a great country must be dealt with. It is a great 
and lengthy undertaking if one reflects that our colony will 
be, probably in half a century, more populated than France; 
that she is already on the road to great achievements, 
although her fertile soil and natural riches are still partially 
unexplored and still undeveloped for lack of adequate 

The railway work planned in this programme comes 
under two heads : 

1. Lines whose execution is judged to be indispensable, 
for which the plans are drawn up and the construction work 
soon to be contracted for. 

2. Proposed lines for the development of the interior of 
the country. 

It is not yet possible to determine exactly the scope or 
the order of importance of the railways, but the economic 
growth of certain centres of civilization makes the construc- 
tion essential within a short period. 

Lines of Paramount Lmportance. — Under this first 
heading five lines may be classed : 

(a) Two New Lines . — i. The line of penetration Tanap- 
Thakhek (188 kilometres), which would connect northern 
Laos (the great navigable reach of the Mekong) with the 
China Sea (ports of Vinh-Benthuy and Haiphong) through 
the medium of the Transindochinese line. 

A traffic line following the adopted plan has already been 
built from Annam to Laos. The contract for the construc- 
tion work has been prepared. Already (last summer) a 
contract has been made for the making of a section of 
18 kilometres, starting from the station of Tanap (Annam) 
on the Transindochinese line. 

The contract will be carried out with the help of funds 


1 8 French Development Work in Indo-China 

from the Colonial Loan ; cost, 23 million piastres ; duration 
of work, seven years. 

2. The line of penetration Bencat-Locninh (Cochin- 
China), which will be carried out as a tramway, the con- 
cessions of which have been submitted for the consideration 
of the Council of State. 

(S) Three Lines which appear in the Doumer Scheme . — 

3. The Tourane - Nhatrang section (Annam coast) of 
55 kilometres, designed to fill the gap on the Transindo- 
chinese line. 

The construction of this should next be put under 
contract. This line will be built with the help of funds 
from the Colonial Loan and the payment in kind levied 
from the Germans. 

The expenditure of 44 million piastres is set aside for 
construction to extend over a period of five years. Germany 
should contribute 300 kilometres of rail and 1 20 fifty-metre 
metal points. The delivery of these in Indo-China has 
already begun. 

4. The extension across Cambodia of the Transindo- 
chinese line, linking Saigon to the Siamese frontier (Aranya) 
by Phnom-Penh and Battambang (652 kilometres). 

The concession of the Phnom-Penh and Battambang 
section, which is principally useful as a means of bringing 
to Mekong the products of the rich neighbouring provinces 
of the Siamese lines, is at this moment under consideration 
by the Council of State. 

5. The Mytho-Bac-Lieu line (285 kilometres), designed 
to prolong the Saigon- My tho line towards the south-west 
of Cochin-China. 

The carrying out of this line, which is principally of local 
interest, and not likely to have a remunerative traffic, seems 
less urgent. 

Lines Still in Contemplation. — Under the second 
heading of lines which are still being planned may be 
mentioned shortly : 

1. The construction by stages of a Transindochinese 
railway to the interior. 

2. The establishment of lines of penetration towards the 
centres of colonization in the Mo'i country. 

The projected Colonial Loan provides for the construc- 
tion of two sections of this line ; 

i. From Saigon to Tay-Minh (97 kilometres) in Cochin- 
China. This section would be at the same time the 
southern annex of an interior Transindochinese line, which 
has long been due, and which has for its object the 

French Development Work in Indo-China 19 

connection of Cochin-China with North Annam by the 
Mekong valley. 

2. From Phnom-Penh to Battambang (Cambodia, 275 
kilometres). This section would give Cambodia the railway 
which is necessary for her economic development, and in 
particular would link this sea and river district of Phnom- 
Penh with the neighbouring rich agricultural provinces of 
the Siamese frontier. 

The construction and development of this section has 
been consented to by the Council General for the Colonies. 

The funds of the Colonial Loan and the German contri- 
bution in kind would contribute to the work of building, 
which should take five years and cost 17 million piastres. 

The lines running up into the Moi country would serve 
for the improvement of the vast tract known as the Red 
Country, which, between the Mekong and the Annamite 
chain, covers 16 million hectares (nearly a third of France). 
About a fifth of this district, perhaps 3 million hectares, 
seems by its exceptional fertility to open up a great prospect 
of industrial development. 

If the exploitation of this region demands it, the building 
of two railways may be anticipated : 

1. From Lochninh towards Bandon (a province of 
Darlac), parallel with the Colonial Road No. 14 (Saigon to 
Hu6), already partly open to traffic. 

2. From Thy-Hoa (on the proposed Tourane-Nhatrang 
section of the Transindochinese coastal line) to Pleiku (a 
province of Kontum), a centre of colonization already served 
by Colonial Road No. 19 from the port of Quin-Hon. 

To sum up, the present development of the railway 
system of French Indo-China is indicated in the following; 

1. At the end of 1928, nearly 2,500 kilometres of line can 
be counted as in working order. 

In the north, as in the south, a solid framework is in 
existence, thus allowing for a quick extension of the 

2. In about ten years the continuation of the new lines 
classed as of first importance will take the total length of 
the lines to about 4,000 kilometres. By that time the 
Transindochinese railway would be finished, and the French 
system would be linked to those of Siam and British India. 

3. In an equally near future, a complimentary programme 
of gradual construction following on the requirements of 
economic development would allow of the opening up of the 
back country. 

The colonies of the Indo-Chinese Union will then be in 

20 French Development Work in Indo-China 

an excellent position to compete with other countries of the 
Far East in the matter of their system of railways. 

2. The Permanent Way and Rolling Stock 

We will confine ourselves to a rapid survey of the 
characteristics of the permanent way and the stock in use 
on the railway. 

The permanent way in the whole of French Indo- 
China is I -metre gauge. It rests on a platform 4 '40 
metres wide. The curves have a minimum radius of 100 
metres. The gradients are at most 15 millimetres to the 

Building constructions are numerous. Small bridges, of 
6-metre capacity, are built of masonry ; the great viaducts 
have an iron base which usually allows of the passage of a 
road and a railway at the same time. Reinforced concrete 
is often used in the recent buildings. 

By reason of the number and variety of these construc- 
tions, and the beauty and impressiveness of their sites, the 
Yunnan line laid in Chinese territory from Laokay to 
Yunnanfou is remarkable both from the picturesque and the 
technical points of view. 

Opened in nine years (1901-1910), in the midst of a most 
difficult mountain region, to reach the heights of the 
Yunnanese plateau, it offers to the traveller a vision of 
lovely places, vast forests, deep gorges, and foaming 

To give some idea of the gigantic work carried out in 
this corner of China by French engineers, it is enough to 
remember that this line, which stretches for 465 kilometres, 
goes through 155 tunnels of a total length of nearly 18 
kilometres, and crosses 3,422 viaducts, bridges, and aque- 
ducts. The cost per kilometre works out at 353,000 francs 
at least, worth at the time 147,000 piastres. 

A. The Permanent Way — i. Superstructure. — The rails 
are steel, of the Vignole type. According to the lines the 
rails weigh 20 to 30 kilogrammes to the running metre, but 
by degrees the 30-kilogramme rail is being substituted on 
the whole system of railways in place of the lighter type. 

The way is laid upon a ballast measuring 2-40 metres 
between the sides and o‘5o metres deep. 

Sleepers of mild steel are on most of the lines. Each 
sleeper weighs 40 kilogrammes, and there are 1,250 of 
them to the kilometre. 

* Except for some sections of the Saigon-Mytho line and the rack-and- 
pinion railway of Langbian. 

French Development Work in Indo-Chtna 


Metal sleepers will, by degrees, as renovations are 
carried out, replace the wooden sleepers that are still in use. 

2. Buildings. — The small .stations have a single building 
for all purposes (passengers and goods). The more im- 
portant stations have buildings of various types and accom- 
modation for the staff. 

There are no workshops ; the metal parts generally 
arrive ready-made from Europe. The carpentry and the 
making of inside fittings are done in Indo-China. 

3. The Fixed Stock. — This plant — tanks, cranes, turn- 
tables, etc. — has no particular characteristics. 

The signal system, still very reduced, will be modified 
and increased in proportion to tbe growing importance of 
the traffic. 

B. Rolling-Stock — i. Locomotives. — The type in general 
use* is an engine with three coupled axles, of about 30 tons 
weight, capable of dragging trains of 300 tons weight at 
40 kilometres an hour, or trains of 370 tons weight at 20 or 
25 kilometres. 

Coal is used as fuel in Tonkin and Yunnan, wood on the 
southern lines. 

2. Passenger Coaches. — There are four classes for travel- 
lers. The fourth class, mainly used by natives, carries 
82 per cent, of all passengers. 

The coaches generally weigh 16 tons, have two bogies, 
and measure 2 ’So metres wide. 

Types in use are : for the first class, sleeping and dining 
cars of very comfortable patterns. For the first three 
classes, corridor coaches containing eight compartments 
(two first class, two second, and four third). Special 
coaches for the third and fourth classes. The fourth-class 
coaches have benches running the length of the carriage, 
the central part of the carriage being used for luggage 
which is not allowed in the van. 

3. Goods Trains. — The stock includes : covered trucks, 
open trucks, flat trucks. There are 5, 10, and 20 ton 
covered trucks. 

Improvements. — Many improvements in the permanent 
way are in course of construction. They are made neces- 
sary by the constant increase of traffic and the recent 
extension of the lines. The rolling-stock has been much 
increased (engines, sleeping cars, restaurant cars, goods 
trucks). Engine yards have been made or enlarged, and 
the automatic brake, which is safer and more powerful, 
is being substituted for the vacuum brake. 

* The Yunnan line uses 40-ton engines with four axles. 

2 2 French Development Work in Indo- China 

There has been organized recently (October, 1928) a 
direct Hanoi-Saigon service, for which, to north and south, 
the two sections opened up by the Transindochinese line 
are used, and in the centre, between Tourane and Nhat- 
rang. Colonial Road No. i (the Mandarin Road), with the 
help of a connecting motor service. 

The Hanoi-Saigon service is weekly, both ways. It 
leaves on Thursday evening and arrives on Monday morn- 
ing. The journey lasts for sixty hours, and a single ticket, 
including a sleeping car, costs 128 piastres. 

With regard to the permanent way and buildings, the 
reconstruction of the track with metal sleepers and heavier 
rails has already been referred to. 

Those sections where there is heavy traffic have been 
furnished with advance signals. 

Development. — Administration and General Results . — 
The railways of Indo-China are, as we have said, under 
two different managements : some (the north and south 
lines) are managed by the colony ; the others (Haiphong- 
Yunnanfou lines) are let out to a company. 

Colonial Lines. — The Colonial lines, each of which 
is directed by a head engineer, form together a depart- 
ment of development directed by an engineer-in-chief, who 
takes his orders from the Inspector-General of Public 
Works. The higher ranks of the staff are all Europeans. 
Most of the smaller offices (stationmasters, guards, me- 
chanics, workmen, etc.) are filled by Indo-Chinese. 

To give these railways a commercial standing, they 
were, in 1914, endowed, as were also the conceded lines, 
with special funds in addition to the budget, under three 
categories : 

1. Reserve funds in ready money or in materials, de- 
signed for the immediate replenishment of the development 
service with spare parts, etc. 

2. A special fund for works and accompanying equip- 
ment for new works, or equipment of exceptional im- 

3. A reserve fund to cover possible inadequacy of 

The Conceded Lines. — The internal organization of 
the Yunnan Company’s lines presents no particular features. 
The proportion of Europeans on the staff, however, is 
higher than on the Colonial railways. A financial arrange- 
ment provides for a sharing of excess profits between the 
Colonial and the Company’s railways. 

French Development Work in Indo-China 23 
General Results 

Traffic, Financial Yield, and Tariff 

We will look at the following results from three points of 
view : 

1. Traffic development. 

2. Financial yield. 

3. Scale of charges. 

Traffic — i. Passengers. — The railway has had, from 
its beginning, the favour of the public. As a whole, the 
journey of the native passenger is less than 50 kilometres, 
because he usually avails himself of the train to take him to 
the neighbouring town or village. 

From 1908 to 1920 passenger traffic continuously in- 
creased. From 1920 to 1925 it dropped about 30 per 
cent., owing to the competition of a motor service, which 
seemed to the natives to be more convenient and less 
expensive for short journeys. The lowering of fares, 
allowed in 1926 for the fourth class (a reduction of about 
one-third on short runs), produced at once an increase of 
traffic and profits. 

2. Goods Traffic. — The goods traffic has grown con- 
tinuously since 1915. 

On the whole system of railways the number of tons 
per kilometre carried rose from 86 million in 1920 to 
137 million in 1927, being an increase of 55 per cent, in 
seven years. 

Among the goods which occasion this heavy traffic may 
be mentioned — North Line: wood for building, rice, and 
paddy ; South Line ; wood for building ; Conceded Line : 
fabrics and textiles, rice, paddy, maize, metal goods. 

3. Percentage of Receipts on Passenger and Goods 
Traffic. — Having risen in 1920 as far as 71 per cent., the 
percentage of passenger receipts in relation to the whole 
has decreased since that time to about 50 per cent. 

The receipts from passenger and goods traffic are there- 
fore, at this moment, equal on the whole system of railways 
in the colony. 

The Financial Yield — The Colonial Lines. — From 
1915 to 1927 the receipts and the expenditure have steadily 
augmented as follows : receipts from 154,000 to 4,281,000 
piastres; expenditure from 1,795,000 to 3,916,000. 

Taking into account the expenditure from special funds, 
the net proceeds in 1927 reached about 365,000 piastres 
(4J million francs). 


French Development Work in Indo- China 

The Conceded Line . — From 1915 to 1926 the receipts 
never ceased to increase, rising from 2,770,000 piastres to 
4,804,000 piastres. In 1927 they fell about 400,000 piastres, 
because of the decrease in passenger traffic due to the 
sharp political upheaval which convulsed Yunnan, and the 
consequent insecurity which followed. 

The net proceeds from the working of the railway has 
fallen from 9,620,000 francs in 1926 to 4,106,000 francs 
in 1927, showing a drop of more than 50 per cent. 

Scale of Charges. — The scheme of charges on the 
railroad in French Indo-China, especially on the Colonial 
railways, is extremely^ generous, the object being the 
development of trade and prosperity rather than financial 

Actually, all things being equal, the charges on our 
Colonial railways are altogether much lower than those in 
force in the neighbouring countries — Siam, the Malay 
Peninsula, and the Philippines. 

On comparing the charges for passengers and goods on 
the two railway systems of the Indo-Chinese Union, the 
Colonial Line and the Yunnam Company, it will be shown 
that passengers pay on an average 10 per cent, less, and 
goods 75 per cent, less, on the Colonial lines. 

In spite of this liberal tariff, which is of advantage both 
to the producer and the native population, the financial 
receipts of the Northern Line were successful, in 1924 and 
1925, in covering the deficits of the other lines, and con- 
tributing to the special fund for new undertakings. 

Elsewhere, this favourable state of things allowed where 
necessary a rather more heavy charge on goods on the 
Colonial railways, thus assisting to cope with the excess of 
•expenditure, due to the growing cost of labour and fuel. 


The railway system of French Indo-China is now, clearly, 
in a favourable position, and holds out good hope for the 

If Its whole development (2,400 kilometres) is still less 
than that of Siam and British India, it has already formed 
the framework of a system which will allow of the opening 
up of all parts of the great country which it serves ^ 

In a not far distant future, the rail will reach over nearly 
400 kiloinetres ; crossing Indo-China from north to south 
It will unite Saigon to Hanoi. Cochin-China to the heart of 
Yunnan and to the frontiers of Kouangsi ; it will penetrate 

French Development Work in Indo-China 27 

to Cambodia and Laos, which have been hitherto rather 

These are vast projects, but their steady and careful 
realization may be adapted to the progress and needs of 
colonization, until later the power of the railroad will be 
extended to the interior of the country. 

A solid, well-constructed permanent way, remarkable in 
many places for its engineering feats, a plant which is already 
important and in a fair way towards growth and improve- 
ment, are assurances of sound development, offering to the 
traveller quickness and comfort. 

Traffic is on the way to a steady increase, and, already 
very superior to that of other French colonies, shows, more- 
over, the importance of the services rendered by the railway 
to commerce, agriculture, and industry, to tourists and the 
native population. 

The financial return of these railways is not, it is true, on 
the same level with their activity. But this state of affairs 
must not be attributed to the poverty of the country, in- 
sufficiency of traffic, or disproportionate expenses. It is 
due to the extreme moderation of the tariff, which is 
altogether lower than those in the neighbouring countries. 

The Government has, in truth, considered that, on the 
one hand, the liberal scale of charges was, in many ways, 
necesssary to compete against motor and boat traffic ; on 
the other hand, that the railway was not a purely financial, 
profit-seeking concern, but above all an organization for the 
general interest and intended increase of public prosperity, 
thus gaining indirect benefit for the colony which sets it up. 

To this wise and far-seeing view of the French railways 
in Indo-China is due, to a great extent, their present 
prosperity and their good prospects for the future. 



By C. G. S. Sandberg, 

(Consulting Geologist) 

[The author of this article gained his first practical experience of gold- 
mining and gold deposits in the Transvaal as a Government Claims 
Inspector. After taking his degree at the Sorbonne, he returned to South 
Africa as a consulting geologist and issued reports on various mineral 
deposits. In 1909 he was commissioned to examine and report on a 
gold occurrence in Sumatra, and subsequently joined the Government 
service of the Netherlands East Indies in a semi-detached capacity. He 
explored and reported upon various mineral deposits and on the geology 
of parts of Sumatra, Java, the Little Sunda Islands, and Celebes, and was 
the first to cross the latter island from Paloppo to Posso along a route 
keeping to the west of the central range. Since 1913 he has established 
himself as a consulting geologist in Holland, and is now at The Hague ] 

Geological Summary 

The Netherlands East Indies Archipelago is, geologically 
speaking, of recent age. Volcanic action is still very strong 
(more than four hundred volcanoes have been registered 
in the region) ; eighty are still — and sometimes very — 
active. From an ore- bearing point of view the igneous 
rocks of the region may roughly be classed into two groups 
— a Western acid and an Eastern basic group— the divisional 
line of which roughly corresponds with the well-known line 
of Wallace, drawn in a north-south direction between 
Borneo and Celebes. At their points of contact mutual 
overlapping occurs, in so far as basic ore-bearing magmas 
have been established in Eastern Borneo and more acid 
ones in W estern Celebes. The W estern acid group belongs 
to the grano-dioritic family with their more recent appanage, 
the andesites, the Eastern group being represented by 
peridotites and associated rocks. 

The Grano-dioritic group is mainly interesting for its 
intimate relation with primary and secondary tin-ore 
deposits (vein-ore and alluvial), whilst its andesitic part 
is closely connected with the gold-silver- selenites of the 
primary deposits. Curiously enough, alluvial gold deposits 
of any importance have rarely been located as yet, and 

Mines and Minerals in the East Indies Archipelago 29 

such occurrences as are known have not yet been exploited 
by methods other than native ones. 

As for copper, lead, and zinc ores, which are as yet of 
little importance, they are found in connection with the 
grano-diorites of Sumatra and the andesites of Java, the 
occurrences on the Isle of Timor being still a subject re- 
quiring closer study with regard to their origin. Finally, 
it should be mentioned that the iron-ore deposits, which 
are often of colossal dimensions, occur equally in relation 
to the acid as to the basic group of igneous rocks in 
variously composed deposits. 

General Remarks 

The Netherlands East Indies (N.E.I.), justly renowned 
all over the world for the quality of their plantation products 
(sugar, rubber, coffee, tea, copra, spices, etc.), are little 
known for their mineral wealth. Of course it is generally 
known that it is an oil and tin producing country of con- 
siderable importance, but that the area also contains other 
mineral deposits in exploitable and payable quantities, such 
as gold and silver, iron, manganese, chromium, nickel, 
diamonds and other precious stones, etc,, is little or not 
known. Yet the possibilities are considerable indeed, 
as may be naturally expected from a highly volcanic and 
mineralized area surpassing in superficies that which extends 
between the west coast of Spain and the Ural mountains, 
on the eastern boundary of Russia. It is true that the 
surface thus indicated comprises the sea-covered parts 
between the various islands. The land surface of the 
archipelago is about equal to that part of Europe which 
extends to the west of a straight line connecting Danzic, 
on the Baltic, to Trieste, on the Adriatic coast, and its 
prolongation along the longitudinal axis of the Adriatic, 
exclusive, however, of Scandinavia, and inclusive of the 
total land surface of the British Isles. 

This huge area, which in general is extremely well 
wooded and watered, and where sufficient labour can be 
obtained either locally or from close distances, is relatively 
very little prospected owing to various causes. One of 
these — which may never return — was that until quite 
recently the fundamentally liberal mining laws were inter- 
preted by the authorities concerned in a way which was far 
from being an inducement to venture capital in mining 
enterprises, and apart from such enterprise being naturally 
risky in these regions, it requires a considerable initial outlay 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

for prospecting and exploring purposes. In fact, it should 
not be forgotten that the N.E. I. are situated in the tropics, 
which means, e.g., that virginal forests with thick under- 
growth, dense grass, or vast stretches of agricultural lands 
or marshes, often cover the surface, which, even where it 
is bare, generally constitutes the topping of a thick, decom- 
posed, lateritic layer, often masking the outcrops of reefs or 
other mineral deposits. More than anywhere else serious 
and systematic prospecting work should only be entrusted 
to experienced men, well equipped for a sojourn for months 
and months far away sometimes from any civilization or 
any human habitation in a dense, maybe marshy, forest 
as inhospitable as it is endless. Natives, if properly trained, 
may often be of great value, on condition, however, that 
the person in charge of the expedition and his staff have 
succeeded in winning their confidence and attachment by 
quiet, just, practical, and resolute — yet never brutal — 
management, and a true tacit devotion to the welfare of the 
expedition and everyone of its members. 

It is clear that under these circumstances individual 
prospectors working on their own account — i.e., generally 
with restricted means — stand practically no chance of 
success. Researches, if not backed by financially strong 
companies or syndicates prepared to finance real expedi- 
tions for systematic prospecting and willing to persevere 
patiently should success remain lacking for some consider- 
able time, should not be initiated, much less entered upon. 
On the other hand, the compensating factor is materialized 
by the extent of the areas which may be applied for by the 
successful searchers, the long duration of an eventually 
granted concession, and the moderate charges on its ex- 
ploitation (license and taxes on gross or net returns). 

We will now briefly sketch the principles governing the 
N.E. I. mining laws and regulations, and the way in which 
prospecting and mining rights may be acquired. 

The main principle governing the N.E. I. mining law is 
that minerals and mineral deposits belong to the State and 
not to the owner or occupier of the surface soil, and neither 
prospecting for nor disposing of any mineral deposit or 
part of it is permitted without a previously acquired permit. 
or concession, respectively, of the Government. 

A permit (called vergunning) for prospectingx^ practically 
granted for what are popularly called the “ A ” minerals, 
comprising “precious stones, graphite, platinum, iridiumi 
gold, silver, mercury, bismuth, molybdenum, tin, wolfram’ 
lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, nickel, cobalt, chromium, iron[ 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 31 

manganese, antimony, arsenic, and strontium; their com- 
pounds and their ores and all such minerals which may 
occur conjointly in their deposits so that they must be 
exploited together ; minerals which may be exploited for 
their tenure of sulphur or which may serve for the produc- 
tion of alum or vitriol ; phosphates which may serve for 
manure ; saltpetre ; rock-salt and those salts occurring 
conjointly in the same deposit.” 

Although prospecting for “ B” minerals is not prohibited by 
law — a permit for prospecting bearing a general character 
and consequently not excluding the search for any mineral — 
its practical use is restricted to that of acquiring informative 
evidence, as no rights whatsoever may be claimed or could 
legally be derived from their discovery. They comprise 
“ anthracite, and all kinds of coal and peat, mineral oil, 
asphalt, ozocerite, and all other bituminous minerals solid 
and liquid, as also combustible gases, exclusive of geologi- 
cally recent marshgas (methane) ; iodine and its compounds. 
In case of doubt whether a deposit belongs to the ‘A’ or 
to the ‘ B ’ group, the decision is left to the Governor- 
General in first and last instance” {vide Art. i, sub. 1-3, 
Mining Law, 1919). 

Permits must be applied for in duplicate and addressed 
to the head of the civil government of the region (Governor 
or Resident), who has both copies marked with the date 
and hour of their entry and who returns one of them to the 
applicant, the earlier application having a preferential right 
over those that follow. 

Permits may only be issued to subjects of the Queen of 
the Netherlands; residents of the N.E.I. irrespective of 
their nationality ; companies, firms, or syndicates acknow- 
ledged under the laws of the Netherlands and the N.E.I., 
the managers or boards of management of which are 
resident in toto or in majority within the realm, and which 
are represented by persons having a right of residence 
within the N.E.I. 

The number of applications for permits (to prospect) 
which may be lodged by any applicant is unlimited, on 
condition, however, that every one of these requests apply 
to a continuous, uninterrupted area not exceeding 10,000 
hectares (24,710 acres) which may not interfere in any way 
with any other area actually held under a (prospecting) 
permit. Needless to say, no permits can be applied for on 
areas situated in regions which are reserved by the Govern- 
ment or which are otherwise permanently or temporarily 
closed for prospecting or mining. If granted, the permit 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

is issued for a term not exceeding three years, which may 
be extended twice for one year on each occasion, the 
authorities being free, however, to refuse any extension 
or to cancel an existing permit before its expiration subject 
to an eventual appeal on the Governor-General. Permits 
are not transferable without the written consent of the 
authorities. All applicants must give such security as shall 
be considered reasonable by the authorities, that due com- 
pensation shall be given for any loss or damage which may 
be caused by them in the exercise of their prospecting 
rights to the owner or lawful occupier of the grounds. 

Having satisfied the authorities, a holder of a permit may 
apply for a concession any time before or at the expiration 
of the term for which the permit was issued, subject to 
having proved the occurrence of the mineral or minerals 
for the exploitation of which a concession is applied for, in 
a deposit or deposits which is or are technically exploitable. 
No concessions on “ B” minerals are granted. 

Applications for concessions, to be handed in in duplicate, 
must contain ; Name and domicile of the applicant ; the 
name of the ore or ores for the exploitation of which con- 
cession is applied for ; map or maps having, in the opinion 
of the authorities, a sufficient degree of accuracy and 
which are based on unremovable corner beacons, showing 
the place or places where the occurrence(s) of the mineral 
deposit(s) has (have) been established ; the name of the 
concession and the place chosen for its domicile. A con- 
cession is granted for a term of seventy-five years and on 
an area not exceeding 24,710 acres for one or more of 
these minerals (ores) specified in the application which are 
mentioned in the grant. Due securities, to the satisfaction 
of the authorities, must be given for defraying any damage 
or loss which may be suffered by the owner or lawful 
occupiers of the soil through the concession-holder. Sites 
for the erection of machinery, buildings, dams, etc., may be 
applied for within the boundaries of the concession, and 
allotted to the concession-holder against due compensation, 
subject to the satisfaction of the authorities, to those 
lawfully entitled thereto. Transfer of concession-rights is 
subject to the approval of the Governor-General. As in 
each grant the mineral or minerals which may be exploited 
are specified, it is possible that the same area is allotted to 
more than one independent applicant. Any person or 
company being holder of more than one prospecting permit 
is entitled to apply for one or more concessions on every 
one of the areas allotted to him (it) under the said permits. 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 


The dues levied on permits consist of ; A fixed rate of 
"1^ cents (half-penny) per hectare of allotted area (5 of a 
penny per acre) per year ; an annual tax of 4 per cent, on 
such revenue as was derived from the year’s sale of the 
acquired ores and minerals and which would be in excess 
of a tax-free amount of 5,000 guilders (^416 13s.). 

The retributions levied on concessions consist of; A fixed 
rate of 25 cents (5 pence) per hectare annually (about 2d. 
per acre) of the superficies actually granted in the act of 
concession ; an annual tax of 4 per cent, on the gross 
results of the exploitation or of 10 per cent, of the net 
results. Should, however, the concession-holder be in a 
position to prove — to the satisfaction of the Governor- 
General — that the last year’s exploitation resulted in a loss 
or that such a loss would ensue from the payment of the 
said dues, then the amount owing under this head may be 
reduced by a sum to be fixed by the Governor-General. 
The minimum of the reduced tribute may, however, never 
be less than an amount equal to i per cent, of the gross 
results of the past year. No reduction on the fixed rates is 
admissible, or can even be considered. 

In areas which are held under concession or by virtue of 
an exploitation contract with the Government no prospect- 
ing is allowed for minerals mentioned in the grant or 
contract respectively, except by those authorized to do so 
by the holder. 

The question will probably have occurred to the reader 
as to what the origin and the nature of such contracts may 
be. The fact is that the Government having reserved the 
right to institute exploration (and exploitation) works of its 
own, directly or under contract with others, is equally 
entitled to exploit any mineral deposit which may have 
been discovered. Such exploitation may either be carried 
out by the Government itself or under special contract with 

The Government employs a large staff of geologists, 
mining engineers, their assistants, and other scientists for 
the geological survey of the archipelago, as well as for 
kindred scientific work. Thus costly expeditions are 
practically always in the field gathering and fixing 
various data on the geological and mineralogical constitu- 
tion of the country which are worked out in details in the 
laboratories. It is clear that under these circumstances a 
mineral deposit may at any time be discovered which would 
seem worthy of further investigation, and eventually of 
exploitation. Under the old law the Government was 



The Mines and Minerals in the 

somewhat embarrassed to know what to do with such finds 
in cases when it was not prepared to carry out further 
exploration works or to undertake the exploitation of the 
deposit concerned. Who was to receive the grant for the 
exploration or exploitation ? And how was the State 
Treasury to be compensated for the outlays which prac- 
tically would have been made on behalf of privileged 
individuals who would acquire the mining rights without 
incurring expenses of exploration with which less privileged 
persons would be burdened ? Further, it was rightly con- 
sidered that the law should allow the possibility of the 
Treasury benefiting more than hitherto it had legally been 
able to do by the exploitation of mineral deposits, the 
occurrence of which was established by an organ of the 

These considerations induced the Government to provide 
for a legal basis enabling it to enter upon contracts with 
private persons or concerns for the exploration or exploita- 
tion of mineral deposits, such contracts stipulating whether 
the necessary works shall be carried out exclusively on 
behalf and for the account of the Government, or by some 
mode of participation with those commissioned. Every 
one of these contracts— which public tenders must be 
called — has to pass through the Volksraad at Batavia 
(Weltevreden) and requires a final sanction by a Special 
Act of Parliament to make it binding. Finally, it should 
be noted, that the Government may reserve (close) any 
part of the N.E.I. on which no rights under the Mining 
Law have already been acquired. 

With regards to the ” B” minerals we may be brief, for 
whereas the Government is free to enter upon contracts 
with private concerns where “ A ” minerals and their 
deposits are concerned, she is bound by the law to do so 
when “ B ” minerals are in question, which she does not 
intend to have directly exploited (or explored for) by her 
own mining department. The law in its present form 
being of comparatively recent date, and not having retro- 
spective effect it is clear that, e.g., some areas containing 
mineral oil and other bituminous substances are still being 
exploited under the rights of concession granted under the 
old mining law, now repealed. 

Labour . — Except for the mining concerns in Java labour 
has mainly to be imported from the said island. Until 
recent years it was abundant. The interminable Chinese 
civil wars are causing the supply from this source to become 
badly affected, both in quality and quantity, which fact is 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 


more particularly felt by the tin mines, which always had 
a special attraction for the much appreciated qualities of 
the Chinese miner. The shortage of Chinese labour had 
to be compensated by an increased appeal on the Java sup- 
ply. Simultaneously the ever-increasing agricultural indus- 
try and the plantations exercised a correspondingly greater 
demand on this very same labour supply from Java. All 
these factors, together with that of a closer selection of the 
w'ould-be immigrants, caused some difficulty in meeting all 
the demands. The character of the labour is, predomin- 
antly, that of indentured labour, the conditions of which are 
governed by the Labour Law and its regulations, which, e.g., 
provides for a special department, the Labour Inspection 
Department, for its prompt execution. U nder the said law 
no recruiting is allowed without a special permit to do so, no 
contract of indenture is valid unless sanctioned by the respon- 
sible authority, and all emigration of natives is prohibited 
which should happen to be under the suspicion of repre- 
senting illicit indenture. Every would-be emigrant labourer 
is, therefore, led before an officer of the Labour Inspection 
Office previous to his (or her) embarkment, and he probes 
the legality of the contract, reads and explains to the person 
concerned the character of the indenture, the obligations it 
imposes and the rights it secures. The officer then enquires 
whether the contract was entered upon of the own free will 
of the person concerned, and emphasizes that he is still 
perfectly at liberty to disown or repeal the provisional con- 
tract entered upon, if he should regret his action. In a 
word, every possible precaution is taken to prevent kidnap- 
ping practices to occur, and to secure a thorough knowledge 
to the person concerned of the obligations imposed by the 
indenture previous to it being countersigned by the inspect- 
ing officer, which renders it legally binding on parties, 
subject, however, to a satisfactory result of the medical 
examination which has then to be undergone. Only after 
all these formalities and conditions have been complied 
with to the satisfaction of the authorities is a permit for 
embarkation issued. 

In the terms of the indenture the obligations assumed by 
the labourer must be fairly carried out under penalty of 
punishment, which, however, cannot be inflicted, except after 
conviction by an ordinary tribunal, the execution of the 
penalty being also left to the official organs of justice. On 
the other hand, the employers are equally subject to the 
stipulations of the Labour Law, and it is again the labour- 
inspector who has to secure its loyal observance. Thus, 

36 Mines and Minerals in the East Indies Archipelago 

good board — or the raw material for food at reasonable 
prices or gratis — and good lodgings must be provided, 
reasonable working hours must be observed, and no un- 
reasonable tasks may be imposed ; fair treatment on and off 
duty is, of course, secured ; medical attendance and good 
hospital accommodation must be provided for, etc. To 
secure the observance of all these mutually binding obliga- 
tions the labour-inspector has access to all the habitations, 
laboratories and hospitals, installations and works of the 
company at any time of the day or the night ; he may 
question any person or persons on the premises either 
privately or in public, or he may summon them to his office 
to give such evidence or to receive such instructions as may 
be deemed necessary for the right observation of Labour 
Act. Thus the Labour Law of the N.E.l. has rightly 
acquired the reputation of a social enactment which is 
unique of its kind, and the methods employed for its 
observance have assured the efficiency of its operation, 
thereby securing the protection of a native labour population 
e^ainst any possible tendencies towards the abuse of power 
on the part of the employers whilst simultaneously protecting 
the employers against any unreasonable breach of a contract 
entered upon by the labourer of his own free will, and with 
full knowledge of its contents. To the lasting honour and 
foresight of the management of the agricultural companies, 
the plantations of Deli, on the east coast of Sumatra, it 
should be placed on record that the various measures, 
hygienic, social, and others, which have since been imposed 
on employers by the Labour Law, were already instituted 
and perfectioned, voluntarily, years before the Labour Act 
was conceived and subsequently promulgated. 

Thus, e.g., the establishments of the Deli Company (the 
well-known tobacco leaf producers of Sumatra), comprising 
the habitations of labourers and staff, laboratories for the 
study of tropical diseases, hospitals and their equipments, 
recreation grounds, etc., had acquired a degree of perfection 
in the N.E.L which are still unsurpassed, though possibly 
equalled by similar institutions of other companies working 
in Sumatra, Billiton (tin-mines), Borneo and Java (Royal 
Dutch Petroleum Company), etc. 

{To be continued.) 



Conducted by W. E. D. Allen, m.p. 

[This Section is devoted to the study of the politics, history, and art of 
the Asiatic territories included within, or immediately adjoining, the Soviet 
Union. Special attention is given to Soviet sources of information, while 
at the same time the principle is pursued of securing the collaboration of 
various non-Bolshevist writers who are natives of the territories under con- 
sideration. The Section is conducted in consultation with Mr. W. E. D. 
Allen, M.P., the distinguished Eastern traveller and writer. For the 
January issue he has furnished a summary of an article on the new 
Turkestan-Siberian Railway, and its probable effects upon Central Asian 
communications. This is followed by an article on the art of Georgia.] 



[The present extract is a brief resume of an article contributed by 
Professor B. Kh. Shlegel to the Novyi-Vostotk (1928), Nos. 23-24, 
pp. 218-233.] 

The decision to construct a railway line that would connect 
Turkestan with Siberia was arrived at by the Soviet Union 
Government on December 3, 1926. The new line 
begins at the Semipalatinsk station of the Omsk line, and 
cutting through the town of Semipalatinsk in a south- 
westerly direction crosses the Yrtysh River four miles 
further on ; then, passing the town of Alash from the west 
on the River Yrtysh, turns towards Kokpekty at a distance 
of 100 kilometres, following the valley of the Tchar-Gurbar 
River. Hence it heads westward into the valley of the 
Djarma River. After crossing the Ashtchi-Su River the 
line ascends the watershed of the basins of the River 
Yrtysh and the Lake Balkhash, descending thence to the 
town of Sergiopol. Running along the north-eastern shore 
of Balkhash it crosses the River Karatal, and, following 
first the valley of the latter, and then that of the River 
Bizh, it winds up amid the Maly-Sary chain on the eastern 
side, touching the Hi settlement near which it crosses the 
River Hi. From here the line heads almost straight in a 
southern direction towards the Alma-Ata station situated on 
the northern side of the town. From the Alma-Ata station 
the line, which here is traced northward from the Frunze- 
Alma-Ata postal track, crosses a number of rivers — viz. : 
Kaskelen, Tchemolgan, Kargaly and others ; through the 
valley of the River Kopa it crosses the Ala-Tau chain by 
the Tchokpar Pass. Descending from it in the direction of 


The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 

the River Tchokpar it crosses the River Tchoo not far 
from the Novo-Troitskoe settlement, whence, following a 
south-western direction, it approaches the River Kurga-Ta, 
and running along its valley it reaches the station of 
Lugovaia situated at the 424th kilometre of the Arys- 
Pishpek-Orenbourg branch of the Tashkent Railway. 

The entire length of the line is i ,48 1 kilometres. 

The general cost of construction based upon the final 
estimate sanctioned by the Council of Labour and Defence 
on May 25, 1928, is 203,700,000 roubles (^20,370,000). 

The construction began in 1927, and is at present open 
to temporary traffic on a length of 157 kilometres on the 
north from Semipalatinsk, and 131 kilometres on the south 
from the Lugovaia station. 

The economic importance of the Turkestan-Siberian 
Railway is increasing with the advance of the construction. 
It is intended to intensify the commercial life of the 
adjoining provinces and to bring them within the general 
commercial orbit of the Union from which they had been 
practically cut off. For example, notices have already been 
received on the northern end of the line from the institutions 
for transporting in this season 1,500 wagons of water 
melons, 75 wagons of hay, 160 wagons of meat, 20 wagons 
of hide and leather, etc. In the southern section of the line 
there is a fair quantity of “ cakcayr ” to be transported from 
the Kos-Kuduck Villa. The amount of goods to be thus 
transported could be raised to about 8,000 wagons. 

The construction of the line in 1928 as far as Sergiopol 
immediately increased the Soviet turnover of goods with 
Western China, while its completion in this year as far as 
Lake Balkhash raises urgently the question of the utilization 
of the natural riches of this lake and of the lake itself as a 
waterway of access of over 500 kilometres. With the 
completion in this year of the southern section of the line 
to Alma-Ata a possibility will present itself for the effective 
exploitation of this richest region of the Djetysovisk 
Province (formerly Semirechinsk Province). 

In estimating the importance of the Turkestan-Siberian 
Railway, not only its centre of gravity needs to be con- 
sidered, but also the extent of its economic influence. 

Considered from this point of view, its sphere of economic 
influence extends over : (i) Western Siberia comprising the 
districts of Slavgorod, Barnaul, Biisk, and Roobtsov ; (2) the 
Kazatsk A.S.S.R. with the governments (provinces) of 
Semipalatinsk and Djetysovisk and the Aulieatinsk and 
Tchimkent districts of the Syr- Daria government; (3) the 

The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 


northern part of the Kirgiz A.S.S.R. The length of the 
line will at the same time be much shorter : 2,713 kilometres 
from Tashkent to Novo-Sibirsk instead of the existing 
circular route of 4,618 kilometres. 

The population of the territory which is under its sphere 
of influence is 5,540,700, while the territory itself measures 
124,374,345 “ga” ( = rA ?), of which 16,587,185 “ga” is 
arable land (13-3 per cent.), 57,277,254 “ga” excellent for 
pasture (46 per cent.), and 10,599,308 “ga” is covered 
with good forest (8*6 per cent.). 

The completion of the Turkestan-Siberian Railway will, 
no doubt, intensify the exploitation of the natural riches of 
the region, the commercial possibilities of which are very vast. 

The industries of Kazakstan and Kirgizia are of four 
kinds — viz. : (i) agricultural, cattle breeding (where both are 
of equal importance, with agriculture slightly predominant) ; 
(2) cattle breeding — (agricultural with cattle breeding pre- 
dominating) ; (3) cattle breeding where agriculture is either 
not followed at all or is of insignificant character; and 
(4) purely agricultural. 

The general arable area of the whole region is 4,415,419 
“ ga,” of which Western Siberia includes 2,867,153 “ga’ 
(65 per cent.), the Semipalatinsk government 776 ,cxd 3 
“ga” (17-6 per cent.), Djetysovisk government 338,200 
“ga” (7-6 per cent.), and the Tchimkent and Aulieatinsk 
districts of the Syr-Daria government 195,893 “ga” (4-4 
per cent.) ; while the whole of Kazakstan includes 1,310,096 
“ga” (29-6 per cent.), and the Northern Kirgizia 238,170 
“ (5'4 cent.). 

The cattle in the whole region number 28,883,480 head, 
being thus distributed : 

Western Siberia 
Semipalatinsk Government 
Djetysovisk „ 

Tchimkent District 
Aulieatinsk , , 

North Kirgizia 

6,541,200 (2 2’6 per cent.). 
8,282,000 (287 ,, 

5,121,900(177 „ 

1,628,600 (57 „ 

3,123,400 (10-9 „ 

18,155.9°° ( 63 'o 

4,186,380(14-4 „ 

At present only the produce of Western Siberia, ^Semi- 
palatinsk government, and partly of the above-mentioned 
districts of the Syr-Daria government, need to be seriously 
considered for the trade balance of the Union. 

The general produce of both the agriculture and cattle- 
breeding areas by the time the construction of the line is 
absolutely completed may be represented as follows : 


The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 

Grain : 


Cattle : 
Heads. { 

Cattle : 

Butter : 

Casings : 

F ruit : 

Western Siberia 


200,000 . 




Semipalatinsk Govern- 


200,000 1 




Djetysovisk Govern- 







North Kirgizia 








550,000 1,900,000 




By the end of the first five years the import of flour into 
Central Asia, it is estimated, will amount to 60,000,000 
puds, as against 26,500,000 puds in 1927. 

At the present time flour is imported into Central Asia 
from Siberia to the extent of 40 per cent., from Northern 
Caucasia 33 per cent., from the Ukraine 17 per cent., and 
from the region of the Tashkent Railway 10 per cent. 
After the completion of the Turkestan-Siberian Railway 
the North Caucasian and Ukrainian flour could be diverted 
for export, and the Siberian flour to Central Asia. The 
direct transportation of flour from Siberia to Central Asia 
over the new line will, it is calculated, decrease the trans- 
port expense by 20 kopeks per pud. The saving thus 
effected from the transport tariff alone would amount to 
12,000,000 roubles, and that without taking into account 
the consequent increase in the Soviet foreign trade. 

For the national organization of flour trade the construc- 
tion of twelve elevators and seven mills is planned in 
Western Siberia. The elevators will be erected one at each 
of the following centres: Semipalatinsk, Sergiopol, Taldy- 
Koorgan, Alma-Ata, and Frunze. 

The meat trade equally needs to be reorganized. Re- 
frigerators are to be erected in Kazakstan, at Semipalatinsk, 
Sergiopol, Alma-Ata ; in Kirgizia, at Frunze or at Tok- 
mak ; while in Western Siberia the number of the existing 
ones after their thorough repair is to be considerably in- 

The existing hide industry in the neighbourhood of the 
line includes the works at Barnaul, Biisk, Semipalatinsk, 
Alma-Ata, Taldy-Koorgan and Tchilik. There are in 
Kirgizia about fifty tanneries. Additional tanneries are to 
be constructed at Semipalatinsk, with a yearly output of 

100.000 large hides; and another at Frunze, where over 

1 70.000 large hides will be treated yearly. 

The butter industry is extensively developed in Western 

The Turkestan- Siberian Railway 


Siberia and in the Semipalatinsk government, where there 
are a number of big factories. New butter factories are to 
be built at Malovodny, in the Djetysovisk government ; at 
Frunze and Karakol ; at Slavgorod and Roobtsov. 

Other industries which exist in this region and need ex- 
tensive reorganization and intensification of their output are 
the forest and mining industries, the cement and chemical 
industries, the fishing industry and the sugar industry, all 
of which are of especial importance in the region. Meat 
and fruit canning also have a promising future. 

The cement industry requires immediate attention. 

The region is at present supplied with this commodity by 
works situated at a great distance, and the freight charges 
are unavoidably and unbearably high. The extension of 
the local cement industry would be therefore of great ex- 
pediency. The existing cement works at Tchooisk, the 
output of which is about 100,000 puds per annum, is not 
certain of its supplies of raw material, nor is it at an 
economic distance from the railway {20 kilometres) ; its 
extension would be an unwise policy. 

With the completion of the Turkestan-Siberian Railway 
the mining industry should receive much assistance, espe- 
cially on the north-western shores of the Balkhash Lake. 
The establishment of steamship lines on that sheet of water 
will facilitate this exploitation. Goolshadsk and Kzyl-Espe 
are rich in tin, lead, and silver. The supply of cheap coal will 
also be facilitated. The temporary traffic on the Turkestan- 
Siberian Railway enables even at present the extension of 
the Akdjalsk gold mines. The construction in Siberia of 
Tebelsk metallurgical works, with an output of 660,000 tons 
per annum, would fully safeguard the supply of iron. The 
coal deposits in that region of the line would contribute 
considerably to the extensive development of the mining 
industry. Of the coal deposits the largest are the Ekibas- 
Tooisk, with a reserve of about 60 million tons ; the 
Karagadinsk, with 300 million tons ; the Kooldjinsk, with 
about 160 million tons, and a few more. At present the 
coal mines are worked only in the Kooznetsk region. 

The timber industry of the region is closely connected 
with the real object of the line, which is to supply cheap 
timber for building purposes in Central Asia, which in its 
turn is connected with the more normal development of the 
cotton industry. The new line will cheapen the cost of 
timber freight by 40 per cent. 

With the approach of the line to Lake Balkhash the 
fishing industry acquires a much greater importance, espe- 


The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 

dally so as the fishing on the River Yrtysh and on the 
Lakes of Zaisan, Ala-Kul, and Tsyk-Kul is only of local 
importance. With the proper organization of fishing on 
the Balkhash a considerable quantity could be exported 
annually. Professor Berg has been dispatched to the 
region to study and report upon the possibilities of the 
fishing industry there. 

The problem of electrification of the region for the pur- 
poses of the development of local industries has not yet 
been fully considered. So far only the construction of one 
hydro-electric station has been decided upon — namely, at 
Ubinsk, with a power of 70,000 kilowatts. This station 
will, it is calculated, be able to supply a considerable in- 
dustrial area of the region with power, including even Semi- 
palatinsk, at the cost of i •5-4 kopeks per kilowatt, which 
would make it possible to enlarge the plan of industrializa- 
tion, especially in the sphere of the chemical and mining 
industries. The power resources of the region are insuffi- 
ciently estimated at over 1,200,000 horse power. 

The completion of the Turkestan-Siberian Railway will 
confront the Soviet authorities with the necessity of further 
extension of transport facilities, and with this end in view 
the construction of railways of access is being considered — 
namely : Kooloonda-Semipalatinsk ; Ridder-Roobtsovka ; 
Atbassar-SemipalatinskorSergiopol; Sergiopol-Tchoogoot- 
chak ; Alma-Ata-Kouldja ; Frunze-Tokmak-Rybatchie, and 
others. Of these, of immediate necessity are Kooloonda- 
Semipalatinsk and Frunze-Tokmak branches. 

The water transport needs to be improved on the River 
Yrtysh between Zaisan-Semipalatinsk, on the River Hi, and 
the Lake Balkhash. 

The completion of the line in 1929 to the River Hi will 
open a cheaper route to Kooldja Province, while the con- 
struction of the Frunze-Tokmak branch and the improve- 
ment of the Tokmak-Naryn-Tooroogart- Kashgar (500 kilo- 
metres) road will facilitate the trade with the Kashgar Pro- 

Simultaneously serious attention would have to be paid 
to the trading routes to Western China, as the contemplated 
completion of the line between Semipalatinsk and Sergiopol 
and the improvement of the Sergiopol and Tchoogootchak 
section (200 kilometres) should have the effect of automati- 
cally normalizing and increasing trade with Western China. 

The Turkestan-Siberian Railway 





By T. Talbot Rice 

[The author has travelled extensively in the Balkans, Russia and 
the Caucasus, and has made a special study of the mediaeval art of 
those regions. It may not be possible to agree with all of the 
author’s contentions, such as, for instance, that Italian Roman Catholic 
influence has had a deleterious effect on Georgian and Armenian 
culture ; but it will be recognised that the author makes an original 
and suggestive contribution to the study of a little-known subject. — 
W. E. D. A.] 

Le propre de I’art byzantin, a un point de vue philosophique est de 
quitter la voie occidentale ouverte par les Grecs pour s’attacher en- 
tierement a I’esprit asiatique qui porte vers Timmobilite en toute 
chose. — VioLLET LE Duc. 

It was owing to her extraordinary power of assimilation 
and combination of the finer elements of other cultures that 
Byzantium became such a vital factor in the period between 
the Classical and the Middle Ages ; and it was at this period 
that she set out to impose not only her rule, but her culture 
and art as well, on a large part of Europe and Asia. She 
was not merely content to create a civilization flourishing 
within her own territorial boundaries, but sought rather — 
and herein lay her greatness — to spread her culture far 
beyond her actual frontiers. This feature, which was to 
be carried to such extremes in later years, marks the begin- 
ning of the European era of history. It was this desire to 
gain for herself the prestige of an Empire whose material 
possessions could, a la rigueur, be measured, but whose 
spiritual spheres of influence should embrace the whole 
world, that Byzantium set out to conquer the neighbouring 
lands with a vigour equalled only by that of the Roman 

At this time, however, the East was still the centre of 
international affairs, and though the Byzantines were in- 
terested in the West they did not fail to realize that their 
success in that part of the world depended upon the spread 
of their power in the East, and especially into Armenia 
and Georgia. Persia, on the other hand, likewise recog- 
nized the importance of these two countries and desired to 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 45 

retain them both as territorial appendages and as spheres 
of intellectual influence. The inevitable war which was 
brought about by this state of affairs resulted in the victory 
of Bvzantium, both on the battlefield and in the cultural 
sphere, and it consequently fell to Armenia and to Georgia 
to play the role of transmitters of Byzantine culture to that 
part of Europe which could not be influenced directly from 
Byzantium or via Italy. The extent of the role played by 
these two countries in this respect cannot be overempha- 
sized, and it is especially striking with regard to Russia 
and the north-western corner of Europe. 

* * * * * 

Armenia, lying as it does where the Near and Middle 
East converge, was naturally the first state in which the 
artistic fluctuations, which occurred both in Persia and in 
Byzantium, reverberated with greatest force. This was due 
to the fact that both Persia and Byzantium fought for 
ascendency in Armenia, and in so doing both unwittingly 
influenced that country’s artistic development and were in 
turn influenced by it. This was especially true of Byzan- 
tium, probably owing to her ultimate annexation of the 
state, which she was able to achieve regardless of the many 
ties of blood existing between the Armenians and the 

Justinian in the fifth century was quick to recognize both 
the genius and the importance of the Armenians. He im- 
mediately made use of this genius in the person of Anthe- 
mius of Thralles, the architect of St. Sophia, by birth an 
Anatolian, but an Armenian by education. He followed 
this step by proceeding to bring into force the policy of 
favouring the advancement of Armenians in the Empire. 
The emperor’s first move in this direction was to open the 
ranks of the army to the Armenians, a measure which met 
with such success that they formed an important body of 
troops who fought for Byzantium against Persia and the 
Arabs in Asia, and against the Bulgarians and the Avars 
in Europe. In the ninth century the Armenian element 
came into much favour socially and gained conspicuous 
advancement politically; the pretender Bardanes, Leo V., 
Basil, who built the church of the Nea upon an Armenian 
plan, the clever relations of the Empress Theodora, the 
patriarch Photius and the grammarian John were all of 
Armenian stock. So likewise were many officers both in 
the army and the civil service as well as most of the out- 
standing figures of the merchant world. 

Strzygowski and others have established the fact that 

46 Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

Armenia contributed to the artistic greatness of Byzantium. 
Yet though Byzantine art may appear to be but a clever 
blending of many foreign elements, it must not be con- 
sidered entirely as such. There is nothing of the plagiarist 
in the Byzantine artist. Rather is his attitude that of a 
cultured man who was able to appreciate all that was 
beautiful in the achievements of past ages. The basic 
ideas of these early works he moulded to suit his own taste, 
marking them with the stamp of his peculiar genius and 
giving to each article which he produced the originality and 
the individuality which is the essence of true art. He added 
to this legacy, which he received from dead civilizations, 
two new branches, which he developed to the full, and, as 
well, brought to a state of perfection a third and inherited 
craft. The first two of these arts are those of mosaics and 
of fresco painting, the third is that of enamelling. Here 
the Byzantine master succeeded admirably in his attempt 
to make a new art from old materials as a result of his 
conception of art in general. His aim was to combine 
asceticism of design with Hellenistic vitality and the re- 
straining influence of Semitic and Egyptian severity. The 
first of these elements was meant to symbolize spirituality, 
the second was introduced to make art intelligible to the 
least educated and most simple of persons, whilst the 
third attribute was intended to render it pleasing to the 
most aesthetic and exacting of formalists. Thus at a time 
when art was considered as the prerogative of the crown, 
and of the wealthy nobility and clergy, the artist succeeded 
in giving it a wider field by making it intelligible to the 
mystic and the peasant. And as human taste has changed 
but little during the last four hundred and fifty years — 
regardless of the introduction of new catch-words and the 
vogue of new fashions — Byzantine art still appeals to many 
on account of its universal character. 


It is not surprising that mediaeval Georgia fell under 
the spell of Byzantium rather than of Iran. It is even less 
to be wondered at when it is remembered that Georgia — 
Armenia’s immediate neighbour and an important factor in 
Byzantine-Persian affairs — appeared as an attractive addi- 
tion to the early Byzantine Empire-builders. Nor does it 
seem strange that the Georgians were quick to realize the 
beauty of Byzantine art, for it is probable that they were 
a highly cultured race long before they came under the 
influence of Byzantium. Indeed, it would be inconsistent 
to assume that the Georgians, living in a country situated 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 47 

between the Middle and the Far East, were unfamiliar with 
those artistic movements of the East, which they did not 
actually adopt. From an early date their merchants, who, 
like the Armenians, were wont to journey as far as China 
to carry on their trade, must have seen many of the strange 
and beautiful things with which the inland population 
became familiar only at a later date.* And there can be 
little reason to doubt that the Georgians, who had already 
created glorious works in the Age of Bronze, had a distinct 
culture of their own at the time when they became converts 
to Christianity. 

The fact that Armenia — as distinct from Byzantium — 
played a very prominent part in Georgia’s artistic and archi- 
tectural development is perhaps most clearly seen in the 
decorative halos, which are so prominent a feature of 
Georgian icons. The halo, which was originally the 
emblem of royalty of Seleucid and Indo-Scythian kings, 
became a religious symbol in the period between the fourth 
and eighth centuries. It was generally blue or green-blue 
in colour. In early Christian times Christ’s halo was always 
cruciform in shape whilst, until the fifth century, living 
personalities were sometimes honoured with a square one. 
Secular and church dignitaries no longer living, on the 
other hand, were shown with round halos. Now, in Byzan- 
tium few metal icons appear to have had ornamented halos, 
and it therefore seems very likely that their presence in 
Georgian icons is the result of Armenian and Persian non- 
representational influence. 

The invention of the Georgian alphabet and the conver- 
sion of Georgia to Christianity did much to draw that nation 
further away from Persian influence, for it brought the 
Georgians into contact with Greek writings and ideas. 
These differed greatly from the Persian philosophy of the 
day, occupied as it was solely with the beauty of contempla- 
tion. Greek and Byzantine compositions being in essence 
more energetic and more concerned with matters of life and 
and its philosophy had a more ready appeal for the excit- 
able Georgian, who was filled with enthusiasm for the 
affairs and changes of his time. Consequently, the Cauca- 
sian nobles acquired the habit of going to Constantinople 
to complete their education, and thus took the first step 
towards those royal alliances, which were to unite the two 

* In “The Man in the Panther’s Skin’’ and “ Visraminiani ’ ’ — 
Georgian poems of the twelfth century — there are frequent references 
to India and China and to the products of those countries. — 
W. E. D. A. 

48 Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

countries. Already in the fifth century King Vakhtang 
marries the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Leo. In 
the eleventh century occurs the union of the Emperor 
Michael Ducas with the Princess Maria of Georgia and 
that of Bagrat IV. with Helen, daughter of the Emperor 
Argyros. In the twelfth century Emmanuel, heir-presump- 
tive to the throne of Byzantium, does everything in his 
power to win the hand of the Georgian queen, Tamara. At 
the beginning of the fourteenth century the fifth daughter 
of Alexios III. of Trebizond marries Bagrat VI., whilst 
later in the same century Koulkhana, daughter of King 
David of Georgia, marries Manuel III. of Trebizond. 
Again, in the fifteenth century, the marriage of Constan- 
tine XI. to the daughter of George III. of Georgia was 
actually about to occur when Byzantium fell. Thus, though 
Russia and Germany pride themselves, the first on two and 
the second on one Byzantine marriages, it is only in Georgia 
that this union was considered as a usual one, and one 
which could be refused. 

In the Caucasus, as in Russia, intercourse between the 
two countries was not only social but also religious. Thus, 
in the fifth century, Georgian monks go to Mount Athos to 
translate religious texts into their native language. The 
political events of the sixth century finally established the 
fact of Byzantine prominence in Georgia and Persian in- 
fluence was forced to fall to the rear. The Emperor Hera- 
clius even caught and beheaded the Georgian King Gvaram 
for holding intercourse with the Persians. He then invaded 
the country and gave the death-blow to the cult of Zoroaster, 
which was still practised there, and replaced it finally by 
Christianity. He proceeded to place his protege upon the 
throne and invested him with the title of Couropolates 
Patric. It was, however. King David III., at the end of the 
eleventh century, who completely established Byzantine 
culture in his country by founding Georgian schools based 
upon the Byzantine system, though he augmented their 
curriculum with branches of learning in which the Persians 
excelled. Religion, grammar, which comprised philology 
and philosophy, mathematics, ethics and singing were 
taught, and the forty pupils who finished first were de- 
spatched to Mount Athos to translate the Greek classics 
and holy texts into Georgian. King Bagrat sent the two 
best scholars of his day, the monks Eupheme and George 
Mtatsmindeli,* to make new translations of the Bible and 
the Acts of the Apostles, since the former Georgian editions 
* Literally, “of Holy Mount” {i.e., Mount Athos). 

R 6 le of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 49 

of these books contained many errors. However, regard- 
less of all this cultivation of things Byzantine, the once-so- 
powerful Persian and Eastern elements still subsisted in 
Georgia. These elements are hard to define in art, but they 
appear clearly in the history of Georgian literature and 
learning and in the domain of philology, where Persian 
words abound, and Sanskrit, Arab and Armenian roots are 
also numerous. In the twelfth century the cult of Persian 
prose and poetry was so great in Georgia that it produced 
a school of Caucasian literature of its own, and probably 
did much in preparing Georgian taste for the sumptuous- 
ness of Byzantine art. It is likewise due to the Persian and 
Arab influences that a very adequate observatory was estab- 
lished in Tiflis and that the study of mathematics was well 
developed there. 

Nourished by these elements Georgia became so strong 
a nation that, in spite of internal strife and disorder, she 
was able to survive gloriously all the crumbling states 
which surrounded her. It was only the fall of Byzantium 
which finally crippled Georgia, and the fact that she was 
unable to withstand this disaster is proof in some degree of 
her dependency on the power which controlled, for so many 
centuries, the entry to the Black Sea. It accounts for the 
despair which came over Georgia, assailed by Osmanli and 
Persian, when she realized that even Byzantium, the 
strongest power of the Middle Ages, had been unable to 
withstand the Turk. But, although morally shattered by 
the conquest, Georgia might have recovered her poise had 
not Catholicism and the weakening power of the “ quat- 
trocento ” filtered into the country to disintegrate it still 

* * # * * 

Though Armenia and Georgia had come into contact with 
Italy, both when that country was still Roman and during 
the days of the Genoese colonies, it was not until the fif- 
teenth century that the inland population of the Caucasus 
had become familiar with the Italians. Of course, Italy 
was known to many in the Near East as a reality as early as 
the fifth century, especially since two Armenian regiments 
were quartered in Ravenna when that city was besieged by 
Theodoric the Goth in 489-492. After Rome had separated 
from the Empire we know but little of the spread of Italian 
influence in Georgia. Enough, however, exists to sketch 
the history of the relationship between Armenia and Rome, 
and since it has been proved that all ideas and elements 


50 Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

of culture which come to Armenia make their way into 
Georgia, it can only be concluded that the spread of 
Catholic doctrines in both countries was much the same in 
attempt if not in success also. 

In Armenia, Rome’s first signal victory occurred in 1289, 
when King Hethoum of Cilicia appealed to the Pope for 
assistance against Islam. Although no help was forth- 
coming, Leo V. (1320-1342) shared his predecessors 
Romish sentiments to such an extent that he contrived to 
marry the daughter of the King of Sicily, the widow of 
Henry II. of Cyprus. Being childless, on his death-bed, 
he bequeathed his crown to Ring Henry’s cousin, Guy de 
Lusignan, son of Amaury de Lusignan. It seemed then 
almost as if the union of the Church of Armenia with that 
of Rome would occur, for the new King was desirous of 
it, and he was supported by the famous party called “ The 
United Brethren.” But the bishops, the provincial clergy 
and the people arose in opposition, and the King was 
assassinated. Finally, in the year 1441, the Catholicos of 
Echmiadzin was obliged officially to renounce the union. 
But the propaganda which the emissaries from Rome had 
been conducting in the distant Near East was never entirely 
fruitless. Already in the twelfth century David III. of 
Georgia, regardless of the local difficulties and the dan- 
gerous straits in which both he and his country lay, sent 
assistance to the Crusaders, who had set out to deliver the 
Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the infidel. Again about 
the year 1455 the Georgians, in answer to the appeal of 
Pope Pius II., prepared to join the Crusaders, who w'ere 
destined never to get further than Venice in their attempt 
to defend Constantinople, on account of the discords which 
arose in that city between the various European ambassa- 
dors. And in 1459 we find Georgia providing an important 
section of the army placed at the disposal of Philip the 
Good, who proposed to organize a league against the 

With the fall of Constantinople, the head of the Orthodox 
body, the efforts of Italian missionaries in the Near East 
were redoubled, and they brought into the country elements 
which were uncongenial and unsympathetic to the people 
at the very time when, if left alone, they might have 
recovered from the shock of the conquest and, as their 
immediate neighbours, the Russians, were doing, have 
evolved an art of their own. The Roman Catholics, who 
at this time had a very powerful arm on their side, made it 

* C/. William Miller, Trebizond, the Last Greek Empire, p. 98. 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 51 

impossible for Georgia to rise from the ruin of Byzantium. 
This arm was the printing press, which was used by them 
almost from the beginning of the sixteenth century. The 
recent discovery of some Armenian books bearing the date 
1513 and printed by a Venetian company, in conjunction 
with one Thomas Meghapert, proves that this form of 
propaganda must have been resorted to almost immediately 
after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople. At a slightly 
later date the invention came to the notice of the Armenian 
Michael of Sebaste (1542-1570), who sent, in 1562, one 
Abgar of Tokat to Venice to learn the art of printing and 
to establish Armenian presses at Rome, Constantinople, 
Amsterdam and Echmiadzin. It is therefore not surprising 
that bishops, as for instance Nicol of Poland, placed them- 
selves at the head of bodies of Roman Catholic mission- 
aries, led by such men as Clement Galani and supported 
by the French embassy, with the purpose of conducting 
Roman Catholic campaigns in Constantinople, Armenia, 
Mardin and Aleppo — campaigns which were to some extent 
successful. Nor does it seem curious that Chardin and 
Tournefort, travelling through Georgia in the seventeenth 
century, should note with interest that the Capuchin monks 
of Tiflis converted many women of that city, to whose 
presence they gained admittance through the pretence of 
conveying medical advice. The reason for the dearth in 
Georgian and Armenian art after the fall of Byzantium is 
not surprising when we appreciate that the people had to 
adopt a defensive attitude and to direct their efforts to the 
safeguarding of their faith rather than to the production of 
works of art. Nor is the decay of Georgian culture to be 
wondered at when it is remembered that the vitality of the 
country was being continually sapped in the struggle 
against both Roman Catholic and Muhammadan cultural 
influences. It was only when Georgia was dependent upon 
the Persian and Byzantine civilizations that the people 
enjoyed moral freedom and were able to develo']^ their art. 

With the exception of a few surviving examples of the 
productions of the Bronze Age, we know little of the early 
art of Georgia or of that later art which was directly in- 
spired by Sassanian Persia. It is only in the Byzantine 
branch of Georgian art that a few specimens have come 
down to us. But on account of this it would be unfair to 
consider Georgia merely as a copyist. She was, as well, to 
a certain extent an innovator in the domain of Byzantine 
art. This is shown both by her treatment of the art and the 

52 R 6 le of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

way in which she introduced it to other countries. In a 
former article attempts were made to draw attention to the 
individuality which the Georgians expressed in the decora- 
tions of their churches and icons. Here it seems best to lay 
stress upon the contribution of Georgia to design — a con- 
tribution which is sufficiently important to deserve special 
emphasis. It consists chiefly in the development and per- 
fection of interlaced motifs, in which the Georgians attained 
to such mastery that their achievements can easily bear 
comparison with the most famous patterns of European 
production, as shown, for instance, in the tracery of the 
finest rose window's. In Byzantium similar patterns were 
frequently dull and repetitious, and it is only in Georgia 
that designs, formed of interlaced bands, are truly vivid 
and decorative, for there they appear continually in novel 
shapes and combinations. They are so attractive, both 
in form and workmanship, that they even surpass those 
executed by Byzantines in the capital itself as well as those 
inspired by that civilization in Italy, Russia and the 
Balkans. It is only the Irish motives that compare favour- 
ably with them, for here is to be seen again some of that 
charm and spontaneity which characterizes the Georgian 
designs. The latter are, however, more admirable than the 
Celtic ones, for they are more harmonious and decorative 
and have a definite raison d'etre. Unlike the Irish art, 
which is the outcome of imagination and artistic impulse, 
the Georgian is based upon the architectural plan of the 
building and forms an essential part of it. 

Though at the moment it is impossible to explain the 
connection between these Near Eastern designs and those 
in Ireland, still more so to attempt to claim that Georgia 
was answerable for their introduction into that country, it 
can justly be affirmed that the Caucasus were greatly re- 
sponsible for the spread of Byzantine culture in Russia, 
Poland and the Balkans. Georgia’s intercourse with the 
former country must have been constant since early date, 
at any rate in those districts lying round the Black Sea. 
The earliest definite record of official relationship between 
the two countries dates from the eleventh century, when 
Prince Isiaslav Mstislavovich married the daughter of 
King Dmitri I. (1025-1054), whose great-granddaughter, 
the mighty Tamara (1184-1212), in accordance with the 
advice of her bishops and princes, likewise married a 
Russian— George, a son of the Grand Duke Andrew 
Bogoliubskoi. The Mongol invasion necessitated a break 
in this intercourse, but as soon as Russia had regained her 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 53 

liberty the Tsar Ivan III. reopened relationships during 
the years 1491 and 1492. After Moscow had become the 
stronghold of Orthodoxy and had assumed the title and 
position of “ the third Rome,” the intimacy between the two 
states increased. Thus we read that in 1557 the Georgian 
King was asking the Russian Tsar for military aid, whilst 
by 1567 King Leo was admitted to the ceremony of the 
kissing of the hand at the Court of Ivan IV. of Russia. 
Scholars have found ample proof that similar intercourse 
between the two regions had started long before the days 
of Christianity. It continued throughout mediaeval times 
until a culminating point was reached in the nineteenth 
century, when the Georgian and Russian crowns were 

Rostovtseff tells us how the Bronze Age in the Caucasus 
— during which objects so interesting and individual were 
produced that Hittite influence is suggested to account for 
them — led to the early Iron Age civilization of the Crimea, 
which flourished in the third century b.c. In the stone-work 
of the marble tombs of South Russia he sees traces of 
Mesopotamian influence, of Egypto-Syrian influence in 
the floral compositions, whilst he attributes the garlands 
and crowns of vine and laurel leaves to Syro- Palestinian 
rather than to Byzantine inspiration. Such elements could 
only have made their way into Russia through Georgia, 
and in this connection it is interesting to note the fact estab- 
lished by Latischeff that it was the Bishop Ermian of Jeru- 
salem and not the Patriarch of Constantinople who sent the 
first Christian missionaries to Russia. These missionaries 
preached Christianity in the vicinity of Cherson, but were 
shortly afterwards overcome by Byzantine priests, who 
appeared as their rivals. 

Early Russian ornaments and minor objects of art show 
unmistakable traces of Eastern influence, and it seems ex- 
ceedingly probable that this influence reached the crafts- 
men from the Caucasus. Had the Eastern element entered 
Russia from Constantinople by the great water-way con- 
necting the Greeks with the Variags, it would be natural to 
expect to find some traces of Roman art in the works they 
inspired. As no such traces are to be found, the Georgians 
deserve to be credited with playing the role of transmitters 
between Asia and Russia. Other facts confirm this theory : 
thus, for instance, the fifth to eighth century finds discovered 
on the banks of the Volga and the Oka are identical to 
certain Georgian relics, whilst the stuffs which were found 
there are very like Coptic specimens. In contrast to the 

54 Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

fact that Scandinavian articles were being brought to Kieff 
during the same period, in Perm — some thousand miles 
away — Caucasian arabesques and Oriental animal-designs 
were in vogue. They appeared there in spite of the fact 
that the Arab rulers of the contemporary Caucasian lands 
never actually came further north than the Caspian. Never- 
theless, they are identical in design to the fine wood carv- 
ings of doors, chairs, chests, divans, benches, banisters, 
panelling and balconies of Georgia, which in their turn 
bear a marked resemblance to the floral patterns and geo- 
metric compositions of Arab origin, which form the archi- 
tectural details of the stone buildings of Seville, Cordova 
and Toledo. In Perm these designs disappear as archi- 
tectural features in the tenth century, but they again make 
their appearance in Russian plate-work produced by Arabian 
craftsmen. Russia had been a great market for silver bowls 
under the period of the Persian Sassanians, when they were 
exported to South Russia in considerable numbers. In 
the sixth to eighth century, after the fall of the Sassanians 
in Persia, Syrian craftsmen kept up the supply with bowls 
copied from Sassanian models, but in the ninth to tenth cen- 
tury the Arabs began to take this branch of trade into their 
hands. This fact probably explains the odd features of a 
bowl discovered in 1895, described by Kondakoff as 
bearing an Arabian inscription but being similar in style 
and technique both to Sassanian wares and to ninth to tenth 
century Russian plate. 

It seems very unlikely that these articles should have 
made their way into Russia through Constantinople, since 
the Byzantines, who were always anxious for trade, would 
certainly never have allowed the Arab merchants to trans- 
port vast numbers of bowls through their territory into a 
country whose trade they themselves were desirous of an- 
nexing. It seems far more probable that Arab merchants 
employed the same road as the Russian travellers to the 
Far East were wont to take as an alternative to passing 
through territory under Byzantine control. The Arab geo- 
grapher, Ibn Khurdadbih, in his book Routes and Govern- 
ments, written in 864, describes it as follows : “ The roads 
of the merchant Jews, who speak the Persian, Greek, Arab, 
French, Andalusian and Slav tongues, stretch from the 
West to the East and the East to the West, both by land 
and sea. With regard to the merchants of Russia — those 
of the Slav tribe, they trade in the fur of fox and other 
animals from the confines of the Slav territory to the shores 
of the Sea of Rum (probably here, the Black Sea) and the 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 



Illustration taken from “ Russian Antiquities in Monuments of Art,” VoL IV., 
by Kondakoss and Tolstoy. 

56 R 6 le of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

King of Rum (Byzantium) levies a tax from them. But if 
they so wish they travel by ship down the Slav river (the 
Volga), entering the gulf on which stands the capital of the 
Chosars (Khazars), where the ruler makes them pay a tax. 
Then they cross the Sea of Djurdjana (the Caspian) and 
make descent upon any shore. Sometimes they also bring 
their goods upon camels to Bagdad. Sometimes they take 
road beyond Armenia, from the land of the Slavs, then 
along the gulf of the Chosar capital, then along the Sea of 
Djurdjana, then to Balkh and Mavarangar and thence to 

In addition to this, it has been established that from the 
fourth century travellers made their way to the Volga 
through the Caucasus at a time when Persian influence was 
directed against Byzantium. Thus it seems certain that 
Byzantine articles entered Russia by this route likewise. 
Had Byzantine culture not filtered into Russia from diverse 
parts it could never have been assimilated by the entire 
population, since in a country as vast and primitive as 
mediaeval Russia no art could hope to become national 
unless it made its way into the land from various distant 
points. The fact that Byzantinism in Russia survived the 
Mongol invasion and developed into the admirable and 
characteristic school of the fourteenth to sixteenth century 
ought to be sufficient to show that outposts of Byzantium 
existed in Russia in other than recognized centres. How- 
ever, the churches of Russia can serve as additional evi- 
dence of all that Georgia transmitted to this country. The 
great similarity which exists between the churches of the 
Wladimir-Suzdal districts of Russia and those of Armeno- 
Georgian construction in the Caucasus is striking; both 
groups of churches are similarly built of stone, and have 
their fa9ades decorated with almost identical arches, en- 
circled in sculptured borders, as well as with blocks worked 
in low relief, which are inserted so as to give a passementerie 
effect. Many churches, too, have the same proportions and 
ground-plan as those of the cathedrals of Ani and Mtzkheta. 
Georgian influence is especially strong in these churches 
owing to the fact that its entry into Russia was rendered 
easy by the alliances which were formed by Russian and 
Georgian princes of the day. These occurred at a time 
when Armenia and Georgia were at the zenith of their 
artistic achievements — that is to say, from the tenth to thir- 
teenth century — and the Russian princes, who perceived 
the value of Georgian architecture, encouraged similar 
artistic movements in their own states. 

Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 57 

In the same way, examination will show that the Serbian 
churches of Ravenitza and Studenitza, though purely 
Byzantine in construction, are Georgian as regards the plan 
of their decoration. So also is the church of Nicolas 
d’Arges in Wallachia, which has been generally classified 
as of Lombardian style. Jorga, describing its masonry, 
states that it is of a type which, though known in Greece, 
is neither of the Macedonian nor of the Constantinople 
style. This indicates influence from beyond Byzantium, 
but when considered together with other curious elements 
it is especially significant as suggesting Georgia. Apart 
from the fact that it has a three-fold polygonal sanctuary, 
with a proskomidia and diakonikon on either side and is 
surmounted by niches, the exterior walls are faced with 
partitioned decoration. These features, which are very 
Georgian, are found again in a less marked manner in the 
blind arches of Stelea and the decorations of the Metro- 
politan Cathedral of Bucarest. 

In addition to this, Russia assimilated — ^both from 
Georgia and Byzantium — many other elements which she 
passed on to the West. Florian Zapletal finds traces of 
the style of fresco-paintings and architecture peculiar to 
Novgorod and Pskov in ancient Bohemia, whilst Stefanescu 
notes the appearance of the Rublev style of painting in 
Moldavia. It is possible that the monks of all nations in 
the various monasteries of Mount Athos did much to trans- 
mit foreign ideas to their own countries, but it seems more 
probable that foreign elements penetrated into neighbour- 
ing countries by the more usual routes. In Poland especially 
this would seem to be the case, for the monks from there 
did not usually find their way to the Holy Mountain.* Yet 
Sobolevsky notes frequent traces of the Russian in build- 
ings and frescoes in the Poland of King Casimir — for in- 
stance, at Cracow, Sviatokreschensky monastery, Gnesdo 
and Lublin. Frescoes at the latter bear the date 1413 and 
the Russian name Andrew upon them, and since they have 
a marked resemblance to those of Zvenigorod it is tempting 
to conclude that they are the works of Rublev. 

Regardless even of these facts it is evident that Georgia 
was largely responsible for the establishment of Byzantine 

* Between the destruction of Ani by earthquake in the early thir- 
teenth century and the capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453), 
great numbers of Armenians settled in Bulgaria, Transylvania and 
Poland, and the influence of these cultured folk on the art of 
Rumania, Poland, Bulgaria and Serbia must have been very con- 
siderable, and quite distinct from the infiltrations from Georgia 
through the Russian principalities. — ^W. E. D. A. 

58 Role of Georgia in the Art of the Middle Ages 

culture in Russia and, further, for its spread throughout 
Europe. Had it not been for Georgia it is possible that 
this culture would have died out in Eastern Europe as a 
result of the Mongol invasions and the capture of Con- 
stantinople by the Turks, and then the history of Russian 
and of East European art would have been very different 
from what it is to-day. 




By C. M. Salwey 

Author of “ The Island Dependencies of Japan ” ; Hon. Member of the 
Asiatic Society of Tokyo, Japan. 

This far away, fair little island has of late years become of 
great interest to England owing to the opening up of a 
nearer sea route thither by way of the Panama Canal. As 
soon as this wonderful achievement of “ the marriage of 
the oceans ” was effected, the New Zealand Shipping Co., 
that had amalgamated with the Federal Steamship Co. 
Ltd. (in 1912), facilitated a quicker passenger and cargo 
ship route between England and New Zealand than had 
hitherto been accomplished. This New Zealand Shipping 
Co. Ltd. was the first to adopt the Panama Canal route 
— burning oil fuel — a departure which proved its own value 
in place of sailing vessels. 

Like most lonely islands, Pitcairn was in former times 
the scene of disorder, rapine, and murder. The story of 
the mutiny that occurred on board H.M.S. Bounty, carrying 
bread-fruit and other useful supplies and plants to the 
West Indies, is well known — namely, how the crew of the 
ship suddenly disagreed and wrought terrible deeds. The 
remaining men eventually settled on Pitcairn. The Bounty 
was burnt, and they lived as best they could in the hope of 
escaping justice. 

Disturbance slowly subsided, and for some time very 
little was known about the island, but it was annexed to 
England in 1835. The Government having done all in its 
power to improve the state of affairs, permitted some of the 
inhabitants to repair to Norfolk Island for a time, as the 
population of Pitcairn was becoming overcrowded. The 
crew of the Bounty had also an opportunity to visit Tahiti 
and secured wives from thence, but preferring the life on 
Pitcairn, returned and settled down. 

Meanwhile events had taken a turn for the better, and 
it was to the honour of England that one of the former 
mutineers — Alexander Smith by name, but who afterwards 
adopted that of John Adams — by reason (the story goes) 
of a dream, abandoned his former evil ways, and by the aid 

6 o 

Pitcairn Island of the South Pcuific Ocean 

of a Bible and Prayer Book saved from the burning of the 
Bounty, brought the inhabitants, native, Tahiti, and Eng- 
lish who had survived the mutiny, into a state of repentance 
and Christianity. 

The New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd. has, since adopting 
the Panama Canal sea route in 1914, elected to call occasion- 
ally at Pitcairn Island, and we are greatly indebted to this 
company for being able to communicate with the inhabitants 
of the island, and exchange friendly greetings by letters 
and gifts more often than formerly. This happens when 
one or other of its splendid fleet of passenger steamships 
has on board anyone desirous of so doing, and we have 
learnt that twelve travellers have recently spent a six 
months’ holiday there. 

The island is small ; the actual dimensions vary a little 
when described by those who have visited it, but it is best 
to give the surface length at 2 miles long and to 
broad, which is the latest information received. It can be 
sighted 40 miles away on a clear day. 

Like most small ocean islands, it owes its origin to 
volcanic action. Its huge Outlook Rock rises sheer 
from the water without any initial beach or strand or 
coral reefs. This is on the Panama side. Ships cannot 
approach too near, but the little boats manned by the 
natives are rowed out when they are visited by the large 
vessels, and great is the excitement over the event. If the 
wireless is not immediately ready to herald the news, the 
inhabitants, always on the look-out, shout to one another, 
until the whole of the community is informed and aroused. 
With great rapidity those who are able immediately prepare 
to fill their little skiffs with all the marketable produce they 
can muster — these consist chiefly of a great variety of fruit, 
flowers, roots, hand-made goods, baskets and boxes made 
from wood, and cocoanuts, bead and seed chains, shells 
strung together, or dainty pictures of the island and her 
floral beauty — to exchange for money, or better still, 
clothing, especially footwear, and dress materials, if 

Pitcairn is described by a settler there as a “beautiful 
little gem of an island, beloved by all who dwell within it, 
without any wish to seek a more modern or conspicuous 
home.” Besides the natives, there are permanently eight 
residents : these are New Zealand ladies, two Englishmen, 
and two Americans, and they all cling to this ocean dwell- 
ing-place. Its aspect from the water is very dignified 
in appearance; the highest peak is 1,008 feet, but there 

Pitcairn. Island of the South Pacific Ocean 6i 

are other rocks of lower measurement. Its small area 
leaves but little ground for cultivation, though looking 
across on the Auckland (N.Z.) side, the cliffs are not so 
steep, and these are clothed with fine trees. It takes a 
whole day to climb the Outlook Rock from the base to the 
top and down again ; for this reason those who pass often 
wonder how a community of two hundred can find sufficient 
food in such a rugged, lonely place. But the rocks are 
dotted with stately trees that produce fruit, also suitable 
wood for furniture making and so forth.- 

The Isle of Pitcairn was first discovered by Philip 
Carteret in 1767. It was then uninhabited, but showing 
signs of a former life by several stone images and other 
relics of rude art and industry. It is situated in 25° 3' S. 
latitude and 130° 8' W. longitude. In 1790 it was taken 
possession of by nine mutineers of H.M.S, Bounty with 
six men and nine women. At the end of ten years John 
Adams was left with eight or nine women and several 

Captain Mayhew Folger of the American sailing vessel 
Topaz did not arrive until 1814, and it was in that year 
that a v^isit to Tahiti was organized; but it was not agree- 
able, and the people having suffered so much for their 
faults, preferred to return to Pitcairn, where they decided 
to remain. Notwithstanding all that happened on the 
island, the people seem to have peacefully settled down, 
and imbued with all the earnest teaching of the penitent 
mutineer, John Adams, they have become a very happy 
and virtuous community. 

The smallness of the island is, of course, a great draw- 
back. The huge Outlook Rock that rises on the eastern 
side deprives the area of a considerable space, and the fact 
of this rock rising sheer from the sea without initial beach 
or strand is, as has already been said, a very great dis- 
advantage. It is altogether mountainous in character, but 
clothed with beautiful verdure in places. Trees adorn its 
sloping declivities. The stately palm and the cocoanut dot 
the rocky ridges, and many wild flowers seek a footing in 
the crevices. One that is very sweet and fragrant finds its 
way to the hearts of all for its beauty and its perfume. Its 
tender blossoms enliven the waste spaces nearly all the 
year round. It is in the depressions of the rocks in the 
valleys and ravines that the fruit and anything productive 
of food is husbanded. Also there are gardens on the tops 
of the rocks and mountainous elevations. There are very 
few birds — only two species — that remain, but sometimes 
flocks of migratory feathered fowl pass across the Ocean of 


Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 

Peace, though they do not make a resting-place on the 
island even for a time. 

There are no rivers, but there are neither wild animals 
or poisonous reptiles or insects. Typhoons and tornadoes 
will sometimes arise with their destructive force, and crops 
are swept away. In a recent hurricane in the early 
summer of last year, trees were violently uprooted, and the 
fruit, especially oranges, lemons, and bananas, were torn 
away and scattered with extreme violence. 

The greatest disappointment the islanders experienced 
was when the rough and stormy weather prevented the 
mail-boats coming in to deliver letters, and only a message 
was transmitted across the waves that the mail-bags were 
carrying letters and packets for them, but the mail-boat 
must not stop in the storm, so that there was no chance of 
receiving home news for another month or more. It is on 
the further side of the island that the small boats put out to 
receive and welcome the passengers and staff of the large 
vessels wishful to communicate with each other. Bounty 
Bay is only a narrow creek, capable of sufficient width to 
enable one rowing boat at a time to go out, and this is 
dangerous when the tide is strong, and an unwelcome sea 
bath is often an undesired experience. 

The climate is excellent, but very warm. Pitcairn is 
situated 1,503 miles south of the Equator, and some 1,200 
miles from Tahiti. The soil is very prolific; fruit grows 
in abundance. There is nearly always a pleasant breeze 
tempering the heat over the thousands of miles of the 
Pacific Ocean.* 

Trees that have been felled for building are ready in 
a very short time to supply a fresh yield of timber for 
other erections. 

The list of various fruits consists of oranges, lemons, cocoa- 
nuts, bananas of twelve kinds, plantains, cherries, guavas, 
mangos, barbadeens, passion-fruit, bread-fruit, peaches^ 
rose apples, pineapples, limes, tomatoes, snow-fruit, moun- 
tain apples, water-melons, rock-melons, etc. These are 
grown between the high ridges of rocks in the moist warm 
atmosphere of the valleys and ravines chiefly, though 
gardens for fruit culture are laid out in more conspicuous 
positions wherever there is more space available, not as yet 
confiscated by forestry. 

The people also grow sugar-cane and arrowroot, but 
these require strenuous labour to perfect for wholesome 

* Sixty-nine million of square miles. 

Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 63 

nourishment. The cane supplies a sufficient quantity when 
the harvest is good. 

Drinking water is scarce, but is obtainable in small 
quantities from the heart of the rocks in several places. A 
geyser rises occasionally and spouts to a high altitude, 
accompanied by a terrific roaring sound like a wild animal. 

Goats are plentiful, though in former times they did 
much damage, trampling on the newly-sown vegetation 
and consuming it freely. Horses were imported, but they 
will not live on the island. There is no room for cattle or 
sheep, or sufficient space to grow grass or fodder for their 
nourishment. Chickens are reared for food, and fish of 
many kinds add to the list needed to keep supplies up 
to the standard for the increasing population of already 
two hundred souls. 

From amongst themselves they elect annually a magis- 
trate and two councillors, who govern the island ; and they 
are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Fiji in his 
capacity as High Commissioner of the Western Pacific. 

They are very grateful for kindness shown to them, and 
are eager to reciprocate in return. The religion taught to 
their forefathers by John Adams has borne good fruit, 
which is evident by the strangers that live among them in 
perfect harmony, ever doing good deeds for one another. 

Among the recent settlers are three New Zealand ladies, 
who have lived there since February, 1927. They are 
most energetic in organizing occupations for the young 
people. Amongst other things they have instituted a 
Mutual Improvement Society, for when the girls leave school 
they do not have to earn their own living, so they have 
no ambitions of that kind, neither competitions with one 
another. There are no shops to get ideas from. So they 
meet in this society and express their own thoughts, recite 
poetry and dialogues, and expand their own knowledge for 
the edification of each other. In this manner the young 
members are brought together, and the teaching they have 
received keeps their memories keen in regard to what they 
have studied during their school training. 

An Orchestral Society has also been formed (see Fig. A, 
p. 201), but it is hard to obtain instruments — only those that 
can be traded with from the crews of passing ships. A piano 
is of no use on account of the moist atmosphere, but musical 
instruments are greatly in request.* 

Fancy needlework is taught, also knitting and em- 

* One of the islanders can make violins, and a special piano has been 
received to suit the climate. 

64 Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 

broidery. When materials are obtainable it is a joy to 
see the young girls busy over articles of warm clothing for 
babies and the aged. Being so near the Tropic of Capri- 
corn and the Equator, light garments are only required 
by the young girls and adults ; nevertheless, the scarcity of 
materials for clothing for men and women is one of the 
drawbacks to the complete happiness of the inhabitants, 
as they consider themselves in every other respect self- 

When it was known that the New Zealand ladies in- 
tended to remain among them, a nice new house was 
constructed. This took the wood of 1 60 trees to complete, 
and it is very comfortable and well arranged. Houses are 
to be seen here and there among the rocks and tall 
trees, and also near the edge of the island (Figs. B and C, 
p. 202), and from the house built for the New Zealand 
ladies many beauty spots are visible. In writing they tell 
us they have no time to grow melancholy ; there is always 
something to do for the benefit of those around and the 
improvement of things in general. Still, the situation is 
lonely ; the nearest island to Pitcairn that is inhabited is 
300 miles distant, but with this they do not have any 
communication. Of the Paumoto Islands the nearest is 
Manygarioa. The nearest land is the tiny uninhabited 
island of O-in-o, which is surrounded by a coral reef. It 
is 75 miles to the north, and it is to this one that 
the men go twice a year in their open boats to collect 
shells and corals and the tail feathers of tropical birds, 
also fine, beautiful wood. These are all marketable. 
Henderson’s Island is the name of another island which 
is 1 20 miles away — too far away for open boats to reach ; 
but as a motor engine has just been secured, a launch 
is being built, in order to make it another means of liveli- 
hood, that island also producing materials for barter and 

( To be contimiedi) 



By S. K. Ratcliffe 

Not a great number of years ago the announcement of a 
title such as that adopted for this paper would have seemed 
far-fetched, even perhaps rather absurd. One would have 
been prepared for the question, What relation can there be 
between India and the United States? And one might 
well have been told that the title would not suggest to the 
members of the East India Association any subject-matter 
at all. But there is to-day no need to apologize for the 
headline, although it might still be news to many people in 
England that for a large and varied section of the American 
public India is an important subject, and that in the difficult 
period upon which the Government of India is now entering 
the state of public opinion throughout North America can- 
not be a matter of indifference to us in England, to the 
British in India, and to the Indian parties. 

India is, indeed, a subject of constantly growing interest 
to the United States people, and increasingly important to 
them because of the expansion of American trade ; the inter- 
action between British India and the Philippines — America’s 
leading Crown colony, as we should call it ; the remarkable 
extension of American tourist traffic through the Middle 
East; the great development in Asia of modern American 
missions, and of those most notable products of American 
wealth and public service, the Rockefeller and Carnegie 
foundations for research. To these we may add the wide- 
spread, and comparatively recent, awakening of a large 
portion of the American public to the political and social 
problems of India; the discussion, sometimes emotional 
or angry, of the social system of Hinduism, with its 



India and the United States 

peculiar institutions of caste, of untouchability, of child 
marriage; and— most particularly — the impression made 
upon the common mind of the United States, during the 
past seven years, by the career, the personality, and the 
ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Points of Resemblanxe 

Before I attempt, however, to deal with a few of the 
greater matters indicated in this opening passage, let me 
say a word upon a little piece of sociological observation 
or discovery, which I claim to be peculiarly my own. It 
is that India and the United States have more points of 
resemblance- — and that not only in little ways — than an\' 
other two important countries one could name. For 
example : America is famous for forms of hospitality almost 
unknown in European countries. So is India. The 
American is outraged when he comes in contact with the 
inadequate bathing arrangements in English houses and 
hotels : the combined bedroom and private bath-room is 
for him a criterion of domestic comfort. India made it 
so, long before America thought of it. America prides 
itself upon its long-distance trains, and sleeping-cars. 
India worked out a comfortable system before Pullman 
was heard of. American trains are known by numbers : so 
are Indian ; and in India, as in America, you can reach a 
traveller by telegram on the train. An American frequently 
has three names. In many provinces of India the rule is 
almost unvarying; and English people, when shortening 
the name, make the mistake, in India, as in America, of 
omitting the first instead of the second. Indians are 
polite, anxious to please, careful to avoid saying anything 
that might offend the stranger, and particularly the 
European. So, most emphatically, are Americans. We 
trust we are makng no false or arrogant claim (if I mav 
adopt a once famous Curzonian phrase) when we say that 
Punctuality is an English rather than an Indian, or an 
American, virtue. India is a land that makes much of 

India and the United States 


oratory ; so is the United States. India is a man’s country, 
with a marvellous social system which, to English students, 
appears as the extreme development of the masculine will, 
and is marked by a segregation of the serges such as we 
find difficult to realize. America, once producng the noble 
equal companionship of a pioneer farming life, has become 
the modern world’s most astounding example of a mascu- 
line system : the empire of organized mechanical business, 
with its concomitant of an enlarging class of parasitic 
women, and a consequent separation of men and women 
that is unknown in England, France, or Northern Europe. 

Such examples could be easily multiplied : but there is 
no need to continue. I may take it that I have said enough 
to prove my favourite thesis, that the United States is the 
India of the West ! 

The Philippines Parallel 

I will ask you first to note that ever since the United 
States became responsible for the Philippines thirty years 
ago, the system of British India has had, for that relatively 
small but important minority of Americans connected with 
administration and semi-public enterprises overseas, a 
special appeal. It would be impossible to overstate the 
remoteness of Americans from all such matters before the 
Roosevelt epoch of expansion, with the exception of the 
small number of people concerned with the Oriental trade 
and the scattered men and women having some personal 
connection with the problems of missions and missionary 
education. The acquisition of the Philippines counts for 
almost nothing in American politics ; they make hardly any 
appearance in the newspapers, are no nearer than the moon 
for the American multitude (save that they furnish effective 
pictures for the movies), but they are a reality for the 
Federal Government; they have created for the politicians 
and officials of Washington a problem analogous to that with 
which Whitehall and Simla have for so long been struggling 
— namely, the demand for Swaraj made by the political 


India and the United States 

leaders of a people deeply divided by race, religion, and 
social habit. 

When I began work in Calcutta a short time after the 
pacification of the Philippines, there was much discussion of 
the inevitable influence in British India of the United States 
enterprise — that is, of the energetic entry into the field of 
colonial administration of a great modern Power, built upon 
the basis of theoretic democracy. This expectation was 
not fulfilled. American and British administrators went 
their separate ways. It seemed to be taken for granted 
that what the United States did in the Philippines would not 
reflect to any discernible extent the experience of British 
India; while, if I am not mistaken, the advanced parties 
in India came early to the conclusion that their movement 
could not hope to gain much, either in stimulus or in 
education, from the experience of the Filipino efforts in 
the direction of home rule and independence. 

As a consequence, during the past twenty years there has 
been a good deal less interaction between India and the 
Philippines than we expected, and I am inclined to think 
that the two problems will remain apart. The American 
administration has been modern and drastic ; far less 
respectful towards ancient custom than that of British India 
has been; and latterly it has frankly and thoroughly been 
adjusted to the far-reaching schemes of American big 
business and to the prevalent conviction that the Archi- 
pelago affords a magnificent reservoir of raw material. 
During the eight years of the Woodrow Wilson administra- 
tion the Philippines were allowed to go far towards Swaraj. 
With the passing of Wilson they came under the hand of 
a Rooseveltian dictator, the late General Leonard Wood. 
His methods and results did not commend themselves to 
Mr. Coolidge and Mr. Hoover, who made a decided move 
away from the Leonard Wood system by sending out 
Mr. Stimson, the present Secretary of State in Washington. 
The policy now being followed is intelligent, and it must 
have consequences of no little importance. The Hoover 

India and the United States 


imperialism is compatible with large political concessions 
and generous expenditure upon agriculture, education, 
and public health, for Mr. Hoover knows that a contented 
population, with a field of opportunity for the intelligentsia 
and the new commercial and technical classes, makes a 
favourable condition for industrial schemes and the 
development of natural resources. 

Here, then, in the Hooverized Philippines, is America’s 
contribution towards the problem of colonial government, 
and, as you will observe, it offers little in the way of parallel 
for India. Nor do the Philippines make any difficulty, 
as we might have expected, in that wide area of inter-racial 
conflict which, in the American view, is appallingly fecund 
in problems that are incapable of tolerable solutions — 
Immigration. It is here that we touch the one great 
question that connects North America with India, and with 
Asia generally. 

Asiatic Immigrants 

In the period immediately before the War the United 
States became deeply concerned over the perils of immi- 
gration from the Old World. It was an epoch marked by a 
return of the mass movement of communities ; a reception of 
phenomena familiar to the ancient world, with the added 
power of rapid transport from continent to continent. The 
cities and villages of Central and Eastern Europe w’ere 
sending their folk in millions to the land of promise. 
Brown and yellow people, barred from Australasia, were 
persistently breaking into the States of the Pacific coast. 
The Chinese and Japanese had obtained a footing in 
California, as in British Columbia, and the citrus groves 
and fruit farms of that opulent land offered a marvellous 
field to the Japanese cultivator. He can make any desert 
blossom as the rose. Let him acquire a holding on Cali- 
fornian soil, in the glow of its marvellous climate, and in 
no time he is a landowner, a capitalist, with American 
labourers, and even farmers, in his employ. 


India and the United States 

Twenty years ago the American States of the Pacific 
put up the barriers against all Asiatic peoples. They had 
been frightened by the increase of the Chinese and Japanese 
communities in California; they were resentful over the 
peaceful conquest by the Japanese of their own new colony, 
Hawaii. They checked the immigration from China to 
begin with by the imposition of a crushing impost upon 
such Chinese as could establish their right to enter the 
United States, while the menace of Japanese immigration 
was got rid of by means of a gentlemen’s agreement with 
Tokio, under which Japanese labour was kept out alto- 
gether, while permits were granted to a small number of 
Japanese students and business and professional men. It 
remained for the United States Congress, in the time of 
President Coolidge and wholly against his will, to pass an 
Exclusion Bill, which ended the gentlemen’s agreement 
and put an absolute ban upon Japanese immigration. 

Indians in California 

In the case of Indians (called East Indians in America, 
for an obvious reason), there has been no movement for 
absolute exclusion on the part of the Pacific States; but 
this, as we shall see in a moment, does not mean that 
Indians are without their specific and important grievances 
against American authority. 

British Columbia had its own problem of Indian immigra- 
tion. That far north-western province of the Common- 
wealth of Greater Britain enjoys a fine temperate climate, 
and many years ago its farm labour was recruited by some 
hundreds of Indian cultivators, mainly from the Punjab. 
The Indians of Western Canada, as we know, are part of 
the India-Dominion problem, though a very small part 
of it only; and we have no need of a reminder as to the 
calamitous incident of the shipload of Sikhs turned back 
from Vancouver in the first year of the War. The north- 
western regions of the United States might easily have 
had an identical small problem on their hands, since the 

India and the United States 


fruit ranches of Oregon and the State of Washington are 
habitable by the hardier Indian races; but Indian settlers 
did not enter. There has (needless to say) been no inden- 
tured Indian labour in the United States. 

The question of admission in California, the one State 
where it has assumed proportions of consequence, has been 
confined to cultivation, property owners, and educated 
Indians; and their grievance, it must be admitted, is of 
a very special character. They cannot acquire the status 
of American citizens. This privilege is refused to them 
under the laws of California, and the disability has 
been made absolute by the Supreme Court of the United 
States, the most powerful judicial tribunal in the world. 
Not a few of them are married to American wives, who 
retain their citizenship. The children, being born on 
American soil, are birthright citizens ; but the Indians them- 
selves, being Asiatics, are completely and finally barred 
from citizenship of the United States. Apart from the 
American negroes, enfranchised at the cost of civil war, all 
persons claiming the rights and privileges of American 
citizenship must belong to that branch of the human family 
formerly and very loosely labelled Caucasian — a pre- 
scientific classification made obsolete, as we had supposed, 
by the great modern generalization of the Aryan race. In 
the United States the science of anthropology has been 
vigorously pursued and liberally endowed; and there, 
even more adventurously than in Germany, the theories of 
Aryan origin have been worked over and extended to the 


And yet — so little co-ordinated are the legislative and 
judicial authorities with the heavily endowed departments 
of anthropology — the non-scientific label and definition are 
retained in law. The Indian is our Aryan brother, but 
apparently he is not of the Caucasian household. The 
Supreme Court in Washington has condemned him to 

72 India and the United States 

exclusion as a member of a racial family which is outside 
the pale and by hypothesis belongs to a group which cannot 
be assimilated, a metal destined to resist all the fires of the 
American crucible. 

This judgment of the Courts was followed by punitive 
action on the part of the State authorities in California. 
Many Indians had secured naturalization, or were in 
possession of their first papers. Of these they were 
deprived, and in some cases the authorities took the next 
step of declaring their holding of land invalid and of 
confiscating their property. In such cases the law as con- 
firmed by the Supreme Court has brought hardship and 
manifest injustice; but the process, I understand, has now 
ceased. The sufferers belong chiefly to a small community 
of Indians engaged in fruit-growing in one Californian 
valley, a tract that has been enriched by many years of 
labour and had accordingly become a small centre of 
Oriental life, such as the highly self-conscious Americans 
of the Pacific coast found themselves impelled to break 
up. I know of no measures of compensation for those 
Indians in California who were deprived of their property, 
but those who had not been proceeded against are left in 
peaceful possession, and, although they cannot establish 
their status, they may look forward to staying in the 
country and bringing up families of (almost) loo per cent. 

There remains, for California especially, the problem of 
the Indian intelligentsia, which, at all events for some years, 
was complicated by the fact that the Pacific coast became 
an active centre of Indian revolutionary groups, dating 
from the day of Har Dayal, in 1914, and the Ghadr 

The troubles caused by the organizations of young Indian 
extremists in India, of course, do not come within the range 
of my present subject. I pass them with only one remark. 
California has been a natural refuge and breeding ground 
for sects both religious and social, and it is not surprising 

India and the United States 


that the American shore of the Pacific should, during the 
Eastern excitements of the past two decades, have provided 
a good deal of strange history. Some of the extremist 
groups have carried on activities directly related to the 
subversive movements in India; some behaved in such 
a way as to bring their members into conflict with State 
authorities in the Far West, and some rather sensational 
happenings were recorded in consequence. These have 
tended to find some kind of interpretation in current 
American fiction, as well as in periodical literature. I 
mention in this connection “ Daughters of Earth,” an 
autobiographic novel by Agnes Smedley, an American 
woman who in war-time threw herself into the cause of the 
young Indian revolutionaries in California. The book gives 
an exceedingly painful picture, unmistakably authentic, of 
the suffering of a radical American who became absorbed 
in the life of a company of deracines. 

In this connection I may note the fact, not unimportant 
in the influencing of American opinion upon Indian affairs, 
that for many years past a number of Indians, living per- 
manently in America, have been engaged in continuous 
writing and speaking. A few have had the entree to 
important newspapers with more or less regularity, and per- 
haps half a dozen in all have made positions for themselves 
on the lecture platform. Save for two or three professors, 
and one very accomplished Bengali writer whose books 
have a wide and deserved success, these have been, so far 
as I know, identified with the political opinion of the Left ; 
for instance, giving support to the Non-Co-operation Move- 
ment. As, almost without exception, they are endowed with 
oratorical gifts, there is nothing to be surprised at in the 
opportunities they enjoy of addressing large audiences in 
colleges and clubs and in the open forums which have 
become regular institutions of the American Sunday. 


India and the United States 

“Mother India” 

This, perhaps, is the appropriate point for a few 
words upon the effect in the United States and Canada of 
Katherine Mayo’s provocative book. “Mother India” met 
with a truly astonishing reception. It was not a best-seller 
as the term is understood in America (a country which will 
soon have the largest book-buying public in the world), but 
it was sold very widely and read enormously. The publisher 
told me that at the end of the first season its American sales 
were not less than 120,000. I can give personal testimony 
to the extent of the interest it aroused. In the wdnter after 
its publication I w'as lecturing for some two months in the 
territory lying between Montreal and Washington, New 
York and the Great Lakes, and that year I spoke at a 
larger number of colleges than usual. In perhaps the 
majority of cases I was invited to deal wdth Miss Mayo’s 
theses, and as a rule I spoke under the heading of “ Mother 
India and Modern India.” The announcement of the title 
was sufficient to draw an overflowing audience. If it hap- 
pened that in any place I gave two lectures, the one on 
“ Mother India ” brought the crowd. 

The impression that had been made by the book made 
an interesting subject for analysis. Roughly, I should say 
that the audiences accustomed to free debate upon political 
and social questions, such as the Sunday forums, were 
hostile to, or suspicious of. Miss Mayo. This was due in 
part to her earlier books on American subjects, which were 
in support of influences deemed by progressive Americans 
to be anti-democratic. She was condemned as a strongly 
prejudiced observer. Secondly, in the colleges, unmis- 
takably, the general attitude was one of curiosity. American 
students, lads and girls, have been excited by a long series 
of books treating of sex questions without reserve ; and the 
rawness of Miss Mayo’s writing in certain chapters was put 
by American youth in the same class with Judge Ben 

India and the United States 


Lindsey’s sensational disclosures of American juvenile 
immorality. Thirdly, there were the women’s clubs and 
church-goers, who were in the main strongly for Miss Mayo, 
convinced that her picture of Indian domestic and social 
conditions was substantially accurate. They were not, I 
think, interested in any political moral that might be drawn 
from the book, but they looked upon it as useable and 
satisfactory, since it appeared to show the superiority of 
American civilization to those strange systems of the East 
which have a strong picturesque attraction for the Western 
reader and tourist, which have been praised by Tagore 
and many lesser Orientals, and presented to Americans as 
embodying certain principles and forms of social life, 
better and infinitely enduring than those of the dominant 
and abounding West. 

One other question of a controversial kind, with which 
a large section of American opinion has been concerned, 
should be mentioned — opium. Whenever a Western 
nation is interested in missions it may be taken that the 
opium traffic comes under discussion and condemnation. 
Since the War the Government of the United States has 
been active, largely because of its own fears in reference 
to the world traffic in noxious drugs. It will be recalled 
that at one stage, when an American delegation was co- 
operating with the League of Nations Commission, a sensa- 
tion w’as caused by the withdrawal of Mr. Stephen Porter, 
a member of Congress, and his colleagues, in protest 
against the policy of the Powers, including Great Britain. 
An action of this kind is in part explained by the fact that 
an American delegation or envoy is not as a rule free to 
negotiate. Positive instructions are carried from Washing- 
ton, so that a point may easily be reached beyond which 
the American delegates are not permitted to go. With 
respect to opium, American opinion had been greatly 
influenced by the emphatic propagandist writing of Miss 
Ellen La Motte and others, whose sharp criticisms of British 
policy provided ammunition for those Oriental writers in 


India and the United States 

America to whom attacks upon the British system came 

America in this matter can speak and act with emphasis, 
for opium is not a cause of embarrassment to any depart- 
ment of Government in Washington. The question has 
fallen for the time somewhat to the background, and the 
Government of India has earned commendation on account 
of the recent official statement as to the approaching end of 
an unhappy traffic — if, that is, the efforts of the League of 
Nations, with which Britain and the Government of India 
are in accord, are backed up by the European and Asiatic 
Powers. Hitherto, it is well known, they have not been : 
European interests have been hard to control, and China 
in chaos is a terrible obstacle. Before leaving the subject 
I ought to note that we are indebted to the Foreign Policy 
Association of New York and to other responsible American 
bodies for serious study of the question, for informed 
criticism and constructive suggestion, which has met with 
appreciation in Whitehall as well as at Geneva. 

Missionary Work 

No one with any knowledge of modern Indian move- 
ments needs to be reminded that the influence of Christian 
missions extends far beyond the immediate sphere of the 
mission houses and schools, that, as a matter of fact, modern 
India with its multifarious awakening could not have come 
into existence without the Christian missionary and the 
mission schoolmaster and professor. William Carey and 
Alexander Duff are the inevitable forerunners of Gokhale 
and Tagore and of Gandhi himself. And the immense value 
of the American stream of influence may be judged if we 
go back to the wonderful record of Dr. Adoniram Judson, 
one of the greatest of missionaries, who went out to India 
from America first in 1812. It has been mainly through 
the missions that America has touched India and Indian 
problems ; and an important point to note is that, while the 
last century was the great age of the English and Scottish 

India and the United States 


missions, the American enterprises did not reach the 
epoch of expansion until the twentieth century. It is, I 
believe, in the Near and Far East that the American Board 
of Missions does the greater part of its work. Nevertheless 
the American societies make a list of more than two dozen. 

No small portion of these, it may be remarked, would 
be classed in theology as Fundamentalist. As such they 
are decidedly outside the main stream of activity, and in 
years to come they will be, in a position of increasing isola- 
tion, notwithstanding that the American missions will be 
influential in that movement towards church reunion in 
South India which is to-day the most lively issue of Indian 
Christendom. The English inquirer into the facts would 
probably be surprised to discover the relative smallness of 
the American undertakings in educational and medical, 
compared with evangelical, missions. The proportions 
will tend to change rapidly. Schools and clinics make 
a most important part of the institutional religion of the 
American people; and, as Geneva in the past ten years has 
shown, the one province of international effort in which 
the United States can co-operate, wifhout controversy or 
reserve, is that of public health. The great Rockefeller 
Foundation was created in 1913, “to promote the well- 
being of mankind throughout the world.” Few develop- 
ments of that marvellous agency have been more significant 
than the recent work in India, and nothing is more certain 
than that in the immediate future we shall see a great 
expansion of that work, particularly in the campaign against 
tuberculosis and malaria, plague, hookworm, and diabetes. 

U.S.A. Interest in India 

I come now to the general question of America’s interest 
in Indian affairs, a matter which must strike the English 
traveller in America as something actual and curiously 
widespread. I note, for instance, that when I spoke for 
the first time on the Pacific coast — at San Diego in Southern 
California — the subject asked for was “ The Changing 


India and the United States 

British Empire,” and the first question of a lively half-hour 
after the address was, “ When General Dyer was removed 
from the Army, was he given a pension ?” From the time of 
my first visit to America, sixteen years ago, I have been 
invited to speak and write about India; but perhaps it would 
be accurate to say that it was the coming of the Indian 
contingent to the Western Front that first aroused the 
attention of the large public. 

The importance of Asia to the United States must 
increase with the years. The drift of American power and 
interest is steadily towards the Far East : there are many 
commentators on public affairs in the United States preach- 
ing the doctrine that the balance of world affairs has been 
decisively and finally changed, and that the Pacific is 
destined to replace the Atlantic as the ocean around which 
civilization is spread. However this may be, there is 
between America and Asia a direct relationship of com- 
merce and culture which is certain to be augmented. China 
will come more and more under American influences — 
industrial and commercial, educational, medical, literary. 
American wealth, knowledge, and experiment will play 
a great part in whatever political and social system is to 
emerge over the vast area between Manchuria and the 
Indian Ocean. 

Likewise is it to be anticipated that, directly and 
indirectly, America must influence more and more the India 
of to-morrow. We need not be surprised if in course of 
time the zeal of American social reformers should be 
stimulated to meet the challenge offered by the multitude 
of India’s untouchables. That immensely popular book 
“The Christ of the Indian Road” is the work of an * 
American missionary, who has been familiarizing India 
with that method of round-table conference in which the 
exponents of American optimism find a seemingly inex- 
haustible virtue. It is a good method, and India, like 
most other countries, has great need of it. But Dr. Stanley 
Jones places in his application of it (if I may use a metaphor 

India and the United States 


well known to him) a faith that is something more than the 
traffic will bear. The chief merit of his plan, many of us 
feel, consists in its encouragement of an attitude towards 
India — its social heritage, its life and thought — which is 
wholly and wholesomely different from that with which the 
older missionary efforts were so generally identified. 

That agency of research and social service, the Rocke- 
feller Foundation, is the most impressive example so far 
of the international use of American wealth, and it is no 
secret that its directors look upon India as a field having 
special claims to assistance — for India, after all, provides 
some of the great tasks for sanitary science and preventive 
medicine. To some of us it might seem that here, above 
and beyond all others, is the field for British research 
workers and administrators, backed by the money of Indian 
landlords and merchants, in the labour of liberating India 
from the diseases by which the people are ravaged. But 
the evidence implies that this mighty task may first be 
essayed by the great American agencies. It would be an 
irony indeed if in that work of redemption the records of 
the next ten years should prove that the major part of the 
credit belonged to that harsh and materialist farther West 
which, for Mahatma Gandhi, embodies all that the Eastern 
consciousness is compelled to resist and denounce. 

The United States and the Reforms 

The American public, as I have said, has been aroused 
to a keen curiosity in and varied concern for India ; and as 
the British Government now prepares to meet the challenge 
of an evolving Constitution, amid circumstances never 
before confronting an imperial authority, we may be assured 
that events will be followed with critical interest, not 
unaided by a Press which is actually accustomed to furnish 
more Indian news than our papers will think fit to supply. 
We must, moreover, recognize this : No imperial system 
is tenderly treated by the people who belong to another. 
In the civilized world there are not many groups of people 


India and the United States 

or organs of opinion that are given to speaking well of the 
British in India ; and, roughly speaking, American opinion 
is not sympathetic ; nor can we expect that, even if sym- 
pathetic, it would be adequately informed. There was a 
long period during which the British nation gave active 
sympathy to every people of whom it could be said that 
they were rightly struggling to be free from alien rule of 
any kind. That position is now occupied, in some degree, 
by the American nation, and therefore America will be 
lavish in its criticism. I do not see that we have the right 
to complain. And, on the other hand, I do not doubt that, 
when the Governments in Westminster and at Delhi address 
themselves to the great job that must confront them in 1930, 
there will be a large section of the American public able 
to realize the vastness of the undertaking, ready to show 
sympathy with a friendly Power in an unexampled difficulty, 
and not unmindful of the fact that at no great distance of 
time their own Government will be met with the necessity of 
finding an American solution for similar, though infinitely 
smaller, problems. 

Mr. Gandhi and America 

After the War the growth of interest was remarkable. 
The Punjab disturbances of 1919 and the rise of non- 
co-operation were featured in the American Press, and from 
1922 onwards Mr. Gandhi became for the American people 
one of the outstanding personalities of the world. It would 
be difficult to make actual to an English audience the 
universality and directness of this interest. Several of the 
great American dailies sent out special correspondents to 
cover the Mahatma’s movement, and almost every American 
weekly and monthly printed articles about the man himself 
and his gospel, emphasizing naturally his anti-Western 
philosophy at least as much as his political creed. The 
American imagination had been struck by the spectacle of 
this little naked elderly man, who had reduced the business 
of living to its barest terms, renouncing the whole of 

India and the United States 8i 

modernity and defying the mightiest imperial authority of 
the modern age. 

More even than most peoples the Americans are attracted 
or impressed by a startling contrast; and for the denizens 
of New York and Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, there 
could be no imaginable contrast more startling than that 
provided by the apostle of non-violent non-co-operation. 
He embodies a complete negation of the American idea, 
of American history, habit, and ambition. Any simple 
description of Gandhi at Ahmedabad could sound like 
nothing but the extremest condemnation of America and 
Americanism ; and I suppose that this was the main reason 
why, to adopt his own idiom, the American got so tre- 
mendous a kick out of it. 

At the time of Mr. Gandhi’s imprisonment, when the 
Government of India came in for criticism in America from 
many sides, it was an irresistible temptation for an English- 
man to ask his audience or his friends what attitude the 
Government of the United States would adopt towards a 
disruptive thinker, with an enormous popular following, 
who at the crisis of his movement had dared the imperial 
authority to take him at his word. Would President 
Wilson, or any one of his successors, have allowed the 
Gandhist challenge to go unanswered ? And was there not 
a very striking moral to be drawn from such a contrast as 
this : that a Judge in India sentenced the Ali brothers to 
imprisonment for two years only, while in the United States 
men and women had been condemned to twenty years’ 
imprisonment for distributing a circular or for making 
speeches about war and peace no worse than might be heard 
in comfort any day on an Indian maidan ? 




India and the United States 


A MEETING of the Association was held on Monday, October 21, 1929, 
at Caxton Hall, Westminster, S.W. i, when a paper was read by Mr. S. K, 
Ratcliffe, entitled “ India and the United States.” Mr. H. Wickham 
Steed was in the chair, and the following ladies and gentlemen, among 
others, were present : 

Sir Louis William Dane, g.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir Reginald Craddock, g.c.i.e., 
C.S.I., Sir Michael O’Dwyer, g.c.i.e., k. c.s.i.. Sir Mancherjee M. Bhownag- 
gree, k.c.i.e.. Sir Edward Gait, k.c.s.i., c.i.e., Sir James Walker, k.c.i.e.. 
Sir John G. Gumming, k.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir Patrick J. Fagan, k.c.i.e., c.s.i., 
Sir Albion Banerji, c.s.i., c.i.e.. Colonel Sir Malik Umar Hayat Khan, 
K.C.I.E., C.B.E., C.V.O., Sir Hari Singh Gour, Sir Duncan Macpherson, c.i.e.. 
Sir William Ovens and Lady Clark, Sir James MacKenna, c.i.e.. Sir Alfred 
Chatterton, c.i.e., and Lady Chatterton, Lady Scott Moncrieff, Sir John 
Pratt, Lieut.-Colonel S. B. Patterson, c.s.i., c.i.e., Mr. J. A. Richey, c.i.e.. 
Professor L. F. Rushbrook Williams, c.b.e., Mr. A. Yusuf Ali, c.e.e., Lieut- 
Colonel A. J. O’Brien, c.i.e., c.b.e., Mrs. Morrison, Dr. Vangula Siva 
Ram, Dr. R. P. Paranjpye, Mr. J. B. Pennington, Mr. F. J. P. Richter, 
Mr. George Pilcher, Mr. H. R. H. Wilkinson, Mr. T. A. H. Way, Mrs. 
Waters, Mr. S. K. Dutt, Mr. R. Williams, Mrs. Martley, Miss E. L. 
Curteis, Mr. T. D. Bedi, Mr. Francis P. Marchant, Mr. B. W. Perkins, 
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Craw, Mr. John M. Pollen, Mr. Seton Karr, the 
Rev. H. Halliwell, Mr. G. M. Ryan, Mr. J. Sladen, Colonel O’Dwyer, 
the Rev. W. Stanton, Colonel A. S. Roberts, Mr. G. B. Coleman, Mr. 
T. Cooke, Mr. G. T. Garratt, Miss Florence Frances Billings, Mr. F. 
Arnold Haight, Mr. P. G. Robertson, Mr. N. G. Thakar, Mrs. J. J. 
Nolan, Mrs. Dewar, Miss A. J. Wills, Mr. N. K. ‘Ayyanagar, Dr. A. 
Shah, Mr. R. A. Narayan, and Mr. F. H. Brown, c.i.e., Hon. Secretary. 

The Ch.xirm.'XN : In opening this afternoon’s meeting I have an ex- 
tremely easy task. Anyone who is interested either in India or in the 
United States needs no introduction to Mr. Ratcliffe, and Mr. Ratcliffe 
equally needs no introduction to them. As one of the foremost of living 
British journalists he wields an authority of his own. As a journalist of 
Indian experience and former editor of the Calcutta States?nari, he has the 
peculiar authority that attaches to those journalists who have experience of 
the subjects on which they write. As a frequent visitor and lecturer in 
the United States, he may claim some credence if he asserts that he knows 
something of the American people. Therefore without further ado, I will 
ask him to join together these two apparently separate and differentiated 
subjects of America— by which we understand, mainly, the United States 
— and India. 

The Lecturer read his paper. 

The Chairman ; After so provocative a lecture as that to which we 
have listened, I find some difficulty in focussing my ideas or in suggesting 

India and the United States 


the most profitable line of discussion upon the many issues that have been 
raised. The point that remains most prominently in my own mind is that 
of the relationship of the American people to Asiatic immigration. It 
is very difficult for those who have not been on the Pacific seaboard 
to understand how important that issue has been, and may conceivably 
again become. So little was its importance understood in London during 
the summer of tga i that the powers that were in Downing Street conceived 
a British policy at the Washington Conference for the limitation of naval 
armaments which would infallibly have promoted conflict between the 
United States and Japan. Nothing was further from the thoughts of 
British Ministers than the promotion of such a conflict ; yet, in their 
ignorance of the position that existed on the Pacific seaboard, they con- 
templated taking, with the best intentions in the world, a course which 
would have had extremely regrettable results. If their policy had been 
such as to inflame Japanese suspicion of the United States and American 
suspicion of Japan a conflict might have arisen. British Columbia would 
have been involved in it, and would probably have sided with the United 
States even against Westminster ; Alberta and Saskatchewan would also 
have sided with British Columbia, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada 
would have been obliged to side with the other Provinces in order to 
maintain cohesion of the Dominion. It was not until this very simple 
position was understood that British policy at the Washington Conference 
underwent a beneficent change — before it was too late. 

Out of the Washington Conference has come indirectly, by a very 
roundabout route, the present Anglo-American naval understanding which 
may help, also indirectly, the American people to look upon British prob- 
lems in India and elsewhere with a more sympathetic or at any rate with a 
less critical eye. Naturally American eyes are critical. The anti-British 
tradition in America is strong. It is fostered and has been fostered for 
generations by school books. There are large elements in America that 
have no particular reason to look upon England with affection. Some 
of them are Irish, some are German, and some belong to other races, or 
other nationalities, and all these elements together have helped in the 
past to create a volume of feeling to which the late Mayor of Chicago, 
Mr. William Hale Thompson, thought it worth while to appeal. In fact 
his appeal was so strong that the severest ridicule hardly affected it. I 
remember the Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, telegraphed, in response 
to a round robin from the Mayor of Chicago asking for general approval, 
a quotation from “Alice in Wonderland ” : 

“ ‘ You are old, Father William,’ the young man said, 

‘ And your hair has become very white ; 

And yet you incessantly stand on your head — 

Do you think, at your age, it is right ?’ 

‘ In my youth,’ Father William replied to his son, 

‘ I feared it might injure the brain ; 

But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none. 

Why, I do it again and again.’ ’’ 


India and the United States 

The Americans laughed at it, but Mr. William Hale Thompson continued 
until the citizens of Chicago “ outed ” him for other reasons. 

I want to suggest a doubt which has perhaps occurred also to the mind 
of the lecturer. He says that, in future, American contact with Asia will 
increase. That is undoubted. 1 am not quite sure that one day San 
Francisco may not be the front door to the United States, instead of being 
the back door as at present. Nor am I quite certain that American ideas 
in their present form, or American feelings and beliefs, either in humani- 
tarian form, or under the auspices of the missionaries, or of some aspect of 
business doctrine — I am not sure that all these influences will be accepted 
by the East exactly in their original spirit and quality. I have one illus- 
tration in my mind which may not be quite relevant. It concerns the so- 
called “ Christian General ” in China, Feng, who may to-day, or may not, 
be the prisoner of one of his rivals. Years ago Feng was in control of 
Peking. Having been in the United States, and having cultivated good 
relations with American missionaries in China, one of the missionaries had 
given him a fine brass icecream-making machine. Feng treasured it as 
his dearest possession, installed it on his mantelpiece as the emblem of 
Western civilization, and pointed it out to every American and British 
visitor as a proof of his firm attachment to Western culture and the Chris- 
tian faith ! Comical, no doubt. But one must never talk too lightly even 
of the comical side of Eastern conceptions of Western ideas or institutions. 
These may turn out to be some savour of good in the most peculiar 
circumstances ; and we in the West have not always been so consistent in 
our conduct or so exhaustive in our knowledge as to be able to look with 
contempt upon those who are seeking their own way as we are still seeking 
ours. (Hear, hear.) 

There is alleged to be a clash between the spirituality of India and the 
materialism of the average American outlook. There is certainty a clash 
between the really spiritual quality of a good deal of American “ uplift ” 
and the somewhat less spiritual customs which govern the conduct of many 
people in India and elsewhere. No one can deny the spiritual quality of 
the work done by the American missionaries, and by the Rockefeller and 
Carnegie foundations for research. Every Englishman must heave a sigh 
of regret that a great scientist like Sir Ronald Ross, who did so much 
pioneer work in the study of tropical diseases, had not the resources 
of these organizations to back him up. The world is not so well off that 
any of us can afford to show a narrow nationalism. If xVmerica can send 
India funds, workers, and organizations that will attempt to tackle some of 
the social and health problems of that vast sub continent, they well may 
be allowed to do so, and we ourselves may be stimulated by their example. 
(Hear, hear and applause.) 

Sir Albion Banerji said that having visited America, although perhaps 
not quite so recently as Mr. Ratcliffe had done, and coming into contact 
with the cultural as well as the economic activities of that country 
to however small a degree, he might perhaps be allowed to make a few 
observations. The American mentality regarding the East generally was a 
curiosity complex. That mentality had been created by three points of 

India and the United States 


contact. One was the cultural, which created a tremendous curiosity for 
Eastern systems of thought, Eastern religion, and Eastern philosophy in 
general, but especially relating to India. The other was political, America 
being a democratic country with all those strong forces of democracy 
acting right through the various strata amongst the American people. 
The Americans generally had been studying questions connected with the 
relationship between Great Britain and India with the most intense in- 
terest, and that interest was characterized by two kinds of feelings, one 
extremely pro-British and the other extremely anti-British. The third is 
the commercial or the business contact. Analyzing the particular attitude 
of the average American mind, one was tempted to infer that there was 
no adequate means of information available to the American people in 
regard to Indian questions generally. In the first place, the Press often 
was very misleading. The American Press, as they all knew, when any 
Indian visited their country almost ran riot with imagination. No matter 
what community he came from, no matter what persuasion he belonged to, 
no matter whether he spoke of politics or religion, there was a tremendous 
desire and inclination to have very sensational headlines regarding the 
man and his personality. The result was, and this he said with a certain 
amount of regret, that in the case of some of their countrymen who visited 
America, without any sense of responsibility opened their mouths, and 
much wrong information regarding Indian movements, national aspirations 
and ideals was spread throughout America under the very influential 
agency of the American Press. 

At the same time it could not be gainsaid that some of their best minds 
had made perhaps the biggest reputation in America than anywhere else 
in the world. Take for example the case of Swami Vivekananda. There 
was the great antithesis between the extreme materialism of the American 
outlook and the extreme mysticism of the Oriental philosophy, and between 
the two there was rather an unbridged gulf, with the result that the average 
American was most anxious to find something tangible in the great mist or 
chasm between the two ideals which he wanted to get hold of, not only to 
satisfy his curiosity, but also to satisfy the inner cravings of his heart as 
well as his mind. Such being the case, they would notice various big 
things happening in America. They found evangelists who were really 
American born wearing the Hindu turban and preaching the Hindu 
religion. They found also many Indians who could easily draw large 
American audiences, and who professed to be learned in their philosophies, 
giving addresses with regard to Indian culture. When any noted young 
gentleman like Mr. Erishnamurty visited America there was a leading 
question asked as to whether he was really a leader, or whether he had 
a great following, or whether he was simply put up by a philosophical 
society under the influence of Mrs. Annie Besant. Those were all prob- 
ings of the American mind simply because they were unable to find some 
adequate and tangible data for understanding the Indian position in 
regard to cultural systems as well as to the political, social, and economic 
activities of the present day. 

He thought that under the circumstances Indians had a duty to perform 


India and the United States 

for the simple reason that the Americans were very sympathetic and most 
liberal-minded in regard to all legitimate aspirations of India as a whole. 

It would be a very desirable thing to organize such movements as the 
interchange of University professors or the interchange of well-conceived 
educational or cultural films by which suitable and proper knowledge 
regarding all matters American could be communicated to India, and 
similarly all matters connected with India could be communicated to 
America. (Applause.) 

Mr. Rushbrook Willi.vms said that between his visits to America 
in 1920 and the present year he had noticed a great difference in the 
American attitude towards India and Indian problems. Would he be put- 
ting it too high if he said that India has now almost displaced Ireland as a 
bone of contention with at any rate what one might call advanced sec- 
tions of the American nation ? During his visit to the United States in 
the spring of this year he was conscious of being subjected to the same 
kind and the same degree of questioning about British policy with regard 
to India as in the year 1920 had been addressed to him in regard to 
Ireland. (Hear, hear.) 

He thoroughly agreed with Sir Albion Banerji that there was in the 
United States to-day a great hungering for facts about India. In the 
absence of facts, people were very glad to listen to rhetoric. That was one 
of the reasons which made the appeal of Miss Mayo’s book so vital to 
the uninstructed, because superficially read the book appeared to be so 
thoroughly documentary ; and it was impossible to expect the average 
American to realize that no one ought to generalize, even upon the basis of 
fifty instances, in regard to a population of 319 millions. 

He agreed with Sir Albion Banerji on the necessity for a bridge of under- 
standing between the two countries. When he was with the Government 
of India a system of exchange between professors in the American Univer- 
sities and professors in the Indian Universities had been arranged. The 
system worked well for two years, but at the end of that period came the 
provincialization of education, and nobody was sufficiently interested to 
continue it. It was one of the matters which really did require the atten- 
tion of all Indians. 

Then he desired to subscribe to what Mr. Ratcliffe had said as to the 
necessity of proper approach from the American side if America wanted to 
help India. We in this country were very conscious of the fact that India 
having attained a considerable degree of self-respect was not now willing 
to receive benefits handed out by anybody, so to speak. India at the present 
moment thought that she was entitled to look after her own interests in 
the way of sanitation, medical relief, and education ; and while he believed 
that the present American efforts in this direction were fruitful in India 
because they were pursued with tact and with courtesy, he was perfectly 
sure that there was a strong body of opinion in America which desired to 
force upon any and every Asiatic people, Indians included, what might be 
called an American prescription for happiness. One of the reasons why it 
was necessary to bridge this gulf between America and India was the fact 
that America had most of the money of the world, and would be able to 

India and the United States 


finance most of the missions of the world and most of the medical research 
of the world. There might be the risk lest these great benefits should be 
presented to India in a form which Indian self-respect would not admit of. 
That, he suggested, was a further reason for the necessity of enlightenment 
which Sir Albion Banerji had advocated. Underneath all the imperfec- 
tions of existing information, there was really a genuine American interest 
in India and in Asia generally. Unfortunately, many Americans looked 
upon India as having not only a diflferent but also an inferior kind of 
civilization. That was one of the things which they must arrange for 
America to be educated out of, by bringing Americans into contact with 
the best brains in India and with really representative examples of Indian 
culture. (Applause.) 

Dr. Vangala Siva Ram (Lucknow University) said he desired to ex- 
press his gratitude for the most interesting and lucid paper which Mr. 
Ratcliffe had read to them. He had the pleasure of meeting Mr. RatclifFe, 
the lecturer, when he was travelling in America. There was one aspect of 
the matter that he desired to refer to, and that was the great hospitality 
and kindness shown to students in the American Universities. Although in 
America they had strong views in the matter of colour, they opened their 
scholarships to Indian students as well as to the American people. It was 
not so in some of the British Universities, even in the matter of football 
and cricket. 

He thought the exchange of University professors would be a very good 
idea if some central agency like the American Universities Union or the 
Indian or British Universities Bureau could work out a system of exchange. 
The system which had been referred to by Mr. Rushbrook Williams did 
not work out very satisfactorily, partly because of the suspicion of the 
Legislature that the right men were not picked out for the positions. With 
regard to the historic relationship of India and America, in the eighteenth 
century, before America became independent, the New England colonies 
had a great and growing trade with the East Indies and India. It was a 
very flourishing, very profitable, and lucrative trade. All that trade unfor- 
tunately was cut off on the Americans becoming independent, though 
even now the United States holds a high place in India’s foreign trade, 
especially in cinema films. 

There were one or two points of resemblance between American and 
Indian character, such as idealism, in addition to those referred to by the 
lecturer. (Applause.) 

Mr. Yusuf Ali said he had rather hoped that he might sit in a corner 
and hold his tongue because he was just about to visit America, and did 
not want to say anything that might be quoted against him. The paper 
was most interesting. He wished to touch upon two points that occurred 
to him as those on which he could perhaps offer a few remarks. One was 
the opium question. He had officially to deal with the whole of the opium 
question in its international aspect when President Wilson asked for a 
representation from the Government of India. Nothing struck those 
people who studied the question from the Indian point of view so forcibly 
as the fact that the whole American thesis on that subject was built up on 


India and the United States 

a groundwork of historical fallacies. He was not there to defend British 
policy in China. Probably very little could be said to defend it in 
certain phases at any rate ; but he would say that, as far as the hands 
of India were concerned and of the Indian people, of Indian sentiment 
and of Indian public opinion, they were perfectly clean as regards the 
opium question. They did not force opium on China. When through 
certain circumstances the Indian opium monopoly became responsible for 
a great deal of the bitterness that was aroused in anti-opium circles, India 
was the first— particularly the Indian Government, with Indian opinion at 
its back — to sacrifice a revenue of something like 000,000 a year 
(sometimes it even ran to as much as 9, 000,000), but a steady revenue 
of ^5,000,000 a year, for a cause which she considered right. They 
pointed this out, and they also pointed out that the opium question was 
intimately connected with another question, in which America had some 
responsibility herself. That was the question of the deleterious drugs — 
cocaine and allied drugs. Ever since then the opium question had been 
in the forefront of international negotiations. Unfortunately, both in the 
League of Nations and in newspaper discussions, they found that the two 
questions were treated separately, whereas in fact, as the Government 
of India conclusively proved, the two questions were most intimately 
connected. If you rooted out the opium habit and substituted for it 
facilities for cocaine, you were simply jumping from the frying-pan into 
the fire. He mentioned that question in order to show how sometimes, 
with the best intentions in the world, with the most philanthropic desire 
to help people who are supposed to be helpless, you might be pursuing a 
policy that really would leave the door open for other things much worse 
than the things you complained of. (Hear, hear.) 

Mr. Ratcliffe had told them, amongst other characteristics of American 
life and thought, that the United States was the greatest example of 
masculine policy. He had been reading a good deal of American 
literature, and it struck him, so far as social and humanitarian questions 
were concerned, that America was the greatest example of the prevalence 
of the feminine policy. 

The CH.aiRMAN interposed to say that he understood Mr. Ratcliffe to 
have said that the United States was the greatest example of masculine 
industrial organization, and not of policy. 

Mr. Yusuf Ali accepted the correction, but desired to point out that 
femininism of a particular kind, which he could not define or qualify 
offhand, had perhaps the greatest and most far-reaching influence in 
national policy in America — greater than in any other country in the 
world. Other countries had been femininist; American public opinion 
had, to his mind, a truly feminine trend. American mass education had 
been entirely dominated by the women. The amendment which abolished 
alcoholism was almost entirely due to the agitation backed by the women. 

The Lecturer : No. 

Mr. Yusuf Ali said that to-day, if you looked at all the American 
invasions that took place in this country', in Europe, and in India, the 
American nation was mostly represented by its women. Perhaps in that 

India and the United States 


respect America was fortunate, because they were representative of some 
of the best sides of American life ; and in that respect, if in India they 
considered the influence that was exerted by American women, they could 
not fail to profit by their example in social and public life. ( Applause.) 

Sir Hari Singh Gour confessed to an unwonted trepidation ■ in rising 
to speak, because it was by a mere chance that he happened to be there, 
and he was not sufficiently primed to say what he had to say on that 
occasion. He would, therefore, very briefly tell them of his first impression 
of the very eloquent and informing lecture that Mr. Ratcliffe had delivered 
to them. The first half of it had his sympathy entirely, because it showed 
how the Americans were like the Indians. He felt that he had gained a 
few inches in height when he learned that he and his countrymen 
were in the van of material progress, as the Americans undoubtedly were. 
He was wondering whether he was awake or dreaming ; but when he 
heard the latter half of the lecture, in which Mr. Ratcliffe contrasted the 
East with the West, he felt disillusioned, because he had pointed out to 
them how the Americans were so unlike Indians — namely, that one was a 
race of mystics and the other exponents of modern materialism. However, 
he agreed with the lecturer and with Sir Albion Banerji that in America 
there was an insatiable curiosity about India and everything Indian. It 
had been stimulated and awakened by a recent publication, to which 
Mr. Ratcliffe had made reference. It had been said that that publication 
had reached the uttermost corners of the American hamlets and was widely 
read. If that publication was read it would be found that it dealt with a 
very large number of social problems with which the speaker’s name was 
associated. He had a personal grievance against the writer of that book. 
She quoted him very frequently because her diatribe was against the 
social condition of the people of India. The author of the book said in 
many places that he had said such and such a thing, and that was an end of 
it ; but it was only the beginning of his speech in which he had pointed out 
the necessity of reform in India. If the author of the book had only gone 
on in fairness to himself and to the social reforms in his country she would 
have found that those evils were being redressed effectively by the Legis- 
lative Assembly, and with the backing that he had received from the 
Indian representatives in that House. That was what the lawyers called 
suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. It was that which had taken the fancy 
of the American people, and they said there must be something extremely 
rotten in the social condition of India. He was not for a moment going 
to deny it. He was one of those who had always struggled for the social 
uplift of their people. He did not deny that there were social abuses in 
the country. There were social evils in the country which had to be 
redressed ; but at the same time be asserted emphatically that the intel- 
ligentsia of the country were now alive to the necessity of social progress, 
and were doing everything humanly possible to make up the leeway which 
they had to make up on account of their apathy and their neglect for 
generations past. With the growth of public opinion and with the impact 
of Western civilization and culture, of which he was an unfeigned admirer, 
and which he had been asking his countrymen to profit by, India was the 


India and the United States 

gainer; and if America, whether pro-British or anti-British, took a fair 
view of the situation, she would be bound to admit that the British 
connection with India had focussed their vision to the great social problems 
which they were trying to solve. The very reforms, the very cry for 
Swaraj, was due to the Western Influence in the East. Had it not been 
for the influence of the West on the East, he ventured to submit that they 
might have had something like a pinchback Swaraj, but they would not 
have got the real and genuine article of which the first instalment was 
given in 1919. 

With regard to the opium problem India had sacrificed an annual 
income of ^^9, 000, 000, though China was none the better for it. China 
said : “ If you will not give me your opium I will take it from Turkestan 
and grow it on my own soil.” India had lost the money, he said, and 
China was still smoking opium. That was the pith and marrow of the 
opium problem. (Applause.) 

Mr. G. T. Garr.vtt said that as one who had written in America on 
Indian subjects he would like to endorse the remarks of Mr. Rushbrook 
Williams as to the extraordinary hunger in America for facts. From the 
journalist’s point of view, everybody would agree that in America they 
would take, even in their extraordinarily widely read Press, articles which 
were so heavy and full of statistics, that would have no earthly chance 
in England at present. The moral was this, that those who wrote on 
Indian subjects, and he appealed particularly to Indians, ought to cater for 
that hunger for facts and figures. One did hope that in future this great 
American public would be fed not only by the very lucid articles con- 
tributed by Mr. Ratcliffe, but would also get a rather more solid type 
of information from Indians themselves than at present. (Applause.) 

The Lecturer : The main point I should like to emphasize in the 
discussion is the suggestion for a resumption of the interchange between 
the Universities of the two countries. It was a point I had not thought of, 
that in the provincialization of education we have a greater difficulty in 
arranging the interchange of professors. It was suggested by one speaker 
that it might be done through the American Universities’ Union, or the 
English Universities’ Bureau. Here, perhaps, is an opportunity for some 
of the great scholarship foundations in the United States, about the 
acceptance of whose benefits a certain measure of doubt was expressed by 
the Chairman and by some of the speakers. With regard to the point as 
to the reputations made by Indians in America, it is almost impossible to 
speak about relations between .America and India without a reference to 
the fame of Tagore and the apparition of Vivekananda at the Chicago 
World’s Fair of 1893. 

I must confess that I omitted altogether a point brought up by Sir 
Albion Banerji. He suggested that certain good things in America should 
be made known in India through the American films. I realized that 
I had left out the greatest influence upon India that comes from America. 
It is quite impossible to exaggerate the effect of the American films on the 
world and on the East. In an article in the current number of the 
Yak Review I have spoken of the extraordinary contradiction which is 

India and the United States 


found there. Every representative American speaker, from the President 
downward, takes for granted that American civilization is superior to 
everything else in the world, and I have asked the question : What is the 
world to think when that civilization comes through the American news in 
our papers and the continuous stream of the American films ? When you 
think of the hideous sides of American civilization represented in those 
films, the contradiction between the claim and the fact which the world 
sees will hardly go into words. One part of America’s relations with the 
East will certainly have to be considered seriously in relation to that 

I knew perfectly well that my little paragraph about the identity of 
certain American and Indian characteristics of civilization would bring up 
Mr. Yusuf Ali or somebody else. His argument was irresistible that 
American femininism has been of enormous influence. But, after all, 
every American business is the great embodiment of the American will, 
and women are kept out of it generally. Mr. Yusuf Ali said that educa- 
tion was entirely the work of American women. Primary education to an 
overwhelming extent was a femininist creation. Higher education in 
America is almost entirely a masculine creation. Various speakers, be- 
ginning with Sir Albion Banerji, pointed to the important fact that there 
are certain analogies between what we call the spiritualism of the East and 
the materialism of the West. These need to be kept in mind. As to the 
better informing of the American public, that is exceedingly important. 
The larger American papers have in the past seven or eight years given a 
much larger amount of Indian news than our papers. When I came back 
from India just over twenty years ago the great English papers on the 
whole gave a liberal amount of Indian news. Journalists who are inter- 
ested in Indian news to-day know that it is a much more difficult thing 
to get Indian articles into the British Press than it was before the war. 
English journalists know that when they write on Indian subjects they 
can find a more ready market and a much more lucrative market in the 
American Press and in the American magazines than they can in England. 

Dr. P.iRANjPYE, in proposing a vote of thanks to the Lecturer and the 
Chairman, suggested that the Secretary might be requested to take steps 
with regard to the preparation of a paper to be read on “ How Indians look 
at Americans.” 

Sir Louis Dane supported the vote of thanks to the Lecturer and 
Chairman, and referred the audience to an interesting article on opium in 
the current number of the Asiatic Review. 

The vote of thanks was carried with acclamation. 

The proceedings then terminated. 



By Waris Ameer Ali, i.c.s. 

One body of God’s creatures has been, doubtless unwit- 
tingly, boycotted by the Simon Commission. While all 
“minorities,” down to those composed of human beings 
regarded by many of their fellow-countrymen as lower in the 
scale of creation than some ^inimals they hold sacred, have 
had their spokesmen, none has arisen to champion the 
fauna of India. 

It becomes necessary to draw attention to the fact that 
India possesses one of the most varied and interesting 
fauna of the world, and to the very patent danger there is 
of this fauna being in large measure exterminated if the 
position is not realized and remedial measures taken before 
it is too late. There is no necessity for an alarmist view, 
but facts are facts and cannot be glossed over. 

It is only of very late years that enlightened public 
opinion in the Anglo-Saxon countries has awakened to the 
fact that wild life is an asset to the nation. Unlike the 
masterpieces of man, if once destroyed it can never be 
replaced. This has aroused a demand for measures of 
protection, which in some cases go far beyond anything we 
have in British India. 

At the present moment, however, there seems to be 
danger of an apathetic, or even an antipathetic, attitude 
being displayed to the question — probably by reason of the 
mechanization of the age and of the upbringing of modern 
youth, which, unlike our generation, is taught to lisp among 
machinery. There is thus a tendency to question the use 
or necessity of permitting wild life to continue, and it is 
regarded by some as a possible obstacle to the J aggannath 
of “progress.” 

Antipathy to the continued existence of wild life is dis- 

The Fauna of India 


played by two types of men. The first is the person who 
disclaims against so-called “ blood sports.” Sport may be 
defined as the pursuit and capture of a wild animal under 
certain well-defined conventions to give it a reasonable 
chance. These are anathema to the “anti-blood sports- 
man,” who is oblivious of the fact that the survival value of 
many animals would be “ nil ” if it were not for the sport 
involved in their pursuit. Nor is he aware of the incon- 
gruity of his attitude. With very rare exceptions he is by 
no means averse to getting his teeth into his beef and 
turkey at festive seasons, and thus we have no declamation 
on his part against the raising of live stock for slaughter. 

The second type would doubtless argue that because, 
say, 500 people out of over 300 million are yearly slain by 
wild beasts in India they should all be exterminated. And 
yet we have no cry for the abolition of the motor vehicle, 
although it massacres 5,000 in the year out of the 45 million 
inhabitants of these islands, surely one of the most cruel of 
“ blood sports.” 

The Balance of Nature 

No reasonable person will argue that animals come 
before human beings. But there are portions of the globe 
unfitted for occupation by mankind for climatic or other 
reasons, and other parts which it is necessary to keep free 
for the provision of forest products for purely agricultural 
or industrial areas. Especially is this the case in India, 
where a century of the Pax Britannica has raised the 
population from 200 millions to 319 millions, with a result- 
ing extension of cultivation absorbing the major portion of 
village waste lands, so that Government reserved forests 
are the last source of supply and of good grazing left in 
most parts of the country. 

As for the necessity of wild life, anyone who has been 
brought up in the country will understand the danger of 
upsetting the balance of Nature — that is, of destroying 
certain species of birds or beasts which keep in check other 


The Fauna of India 

species that are a plague to man or to his products. 
Again, science tells us that the study of life depends on the 
correlated study of all living forms. Who knows what dis- 
coveries for the alleviation of human suffering may not be 
in store in the future as a result of the careful and controlled 
study of wild life. 

The retention of forest reserves is essential in India, 
and will continue to be more so than ever for the supply of 
necessary products — such as timber for building, wood for 
cheap fuel, and grass for thatching and fodder — to the 
towns and cultivated rural areas. Moreover, they are 
urgently needed to prevent flooding and denudation on 
a devastating scale, of which we have had such a terrible 
example this year in North-Western India, which has fewer 
forests than any other part. 

I must here point out that the conditions which will be 
discussed in this lecture apply only to British India, The 
ruling Princes of feudatory States look after their game as 
a rule much as is done in the West, and comment on their 
feelings of sportsmanship would be rightly resented. 

Any unprejudiced observer will admit that within the 
last decade there has been a great and increasing destruc- 
tion of wild life within British India, outside Government 
reserved forests, caused not by bona fide sportsmen of 
any nationality, but by hunters for the pot and poachers, 
not confined to any one social class or community. 


There is also grave reason to fear the extension of this 
destruction in Government forests. Personal observation, 
as well as experiences compared with sportsmen from other 
neighbourhoods, convince me of this fact. The eleventh 
hour has sounded for the wild life of India. Unless public 
opinion is aroused and reasoned action is taken, it will go 
the way of wild life in so many countries which are now 
struggling to maintain or reintroduce it at great trouble 
and expense. For instance, the ibex was exterminated 

The Fauna of India 


from the mountains of the Grisons in Switzerland in the 
seventeenth century, and has now been reintroduced by 
public subscription under measures of the strictest protec- 
tion. And the great democratic United States, warned by 
the previous extermination of the greater part of their wild 
life, inaugurated a very strict system of control in many parts. 
In some of their States there is a daily limit to the amount 
of game birds which may be shot by each gun, and public 
opinion is strong enough to see that this is enforced. 

Among the ordinary people of India those who take the 
trouble to think consider that the game, whether four-footed 
or feathered, is their own, with which to do what they like as 
a source of immediate food or profit. In this they are no 
worse than many in other parts of the world who ought to 
know better. The result of this spirit is the remorseless 
harrying of any bird or animal, in season and out of season, 
which is eatable or reputed to be of medicinal value accord- 
ing to Eastern ideas. The upshot is the extermination of 
most of the wild life in any area where the population is 
mainly given to a meat diet, while in other parts non- 
migratory game birds, such as the spot-bill or comb-duck, 
are rapidly becoming extinct. 

The spirit of destruction is exemplified in the remark of 
a local landlord to a British official who was out shooting 
black partridges — “ Sahib, why do you trouble to shoot 
them when they are flying ? If you came here in the mon- 
soon you could shoot them on their nests !” It is only fair 
to say that many another landlord is as good a sportsman 
and shot as can be found. Destruction is not confined 
only to the gun, although that is the most common agent. 
Fowlers and those who use snares are ruthless. In my 
neighbourhood I remarked on the great diminution of black 
partridges in given localities, and was told that the 
peasantry, having seen the Sahibs shoot them, thought they 
must be good to eat, and therefore exhausted them, and 
then ran them down with sticks when the crops had been 
harvested — i.e., in the pairing season. 


The Fauna of India 

Arms Licences 

There is no doubt that the death knell of much, if not 
all, of the wild life of British India was sounded by the pro- 
nunciamento of a Simla committee, composed of officials 
and politicians, which recommended the amendment of the 
Arms Act Rules in 1920 to enable persons of certain 
property qualifications ordinarily to secure arms licences 
without question. These persons are now styled the 
“ entitled class.” Without going into the details of official 
procedure, it may be said that licensing officers (who are 
the district magistrates) are now very chary of refusing 
applications, for many reasons. Probably fear of political 
pressure and that bugbear of Indian provincial life, the 
“question in Council,” has much to do with it. The net 
result has been the dissemination of arms into the hands of 
many irresponsible persons. Many of such weapons can 
be used with effect against troops or police from behind a 
mud wall or from high crops, though antiquated or even 
dangerous in appearance ; some are breech-loaders, and 
some are high-velocity rifles. 

When I was myself a licensing authority, I would have 
been the last person to deprive a true sportsman of a licence, 
although owing to his lack of means he might not belong to 
the “ entitled class.” But I made it a routine procedure 
personally to examine all applicants in the handling of 
arms. A part of the test was to give the applicant a gun 
of my own, unloaded but with the “ snap caps ” in it, and 
tell him to fire it. Anyone who was obviously “ gun 
shy ” was sent away forthwith, and the reason was recorded 
in a formal order on the application. If an appeal was 
made to the Commissioner the cat was usually let out of the 
bag — namely, that the applicant had a faithful servitor or 
relation who could use a gun with effect ; but I never 
knew an appeal to succeed on these grounds, whatever 
might be the upshot now. 

These faithful servitors and dependants are amongst the 

The Fauna of India 


most destructive agents in the country. Not only do they 
keep their masters’ pots filled, but they poach for themselves 
and for the market. Moreover, they are quite willing to 
turn a dishonest penny by hiring out their masters’ weapons 
to robbers. The usual tariff now is Rs. 50 a night for a 
breech-loader. Nor is this confined to servitors. In a 
dacoity trial before me last spring, there was strong reason to 
believe that the gang had hired the breech-loader of a land- 
holder from the next district. Unfortunately the confess- 
ing accused and the prosecution witnesses could not identify, 
or more probably were paid not to identify, the “ stranger 
with the gun ” who assisted them. 

An outwardly prosperous farmer or thekadar of my neigh- 
bourhood is now serving a sentence of eight years’ im- 
prisonment for attempting to raid a reputedly rich village 
with the assistance of his own tenants. He wished to 
acquire a substantial dowry for his daughter, whom he had 
affianced to a man above him in the social scale. The 
temptation was a breech-loader which had been secured by 
him under licence. The robbery was frustrated by the 
vigorous counter-attack of the raided villagers, who captured 
the farmer in situ with gun complete. This rendered use- 
less his alibi, carefully prepared beforehand, which with his 
social status would have rendered his acquittal highly 

Arms Diffusion 

For one case which comes into court we may say that a 
dozen occur. Enough has been said to show the danger of 
scattering firearms promiscuously over the immense areas 
of rural India, popular as this may be among arms dealers 
or other interested persons. Confidence in the stability of 
the present order is not so assured as formerly, and this is 
another reason for the desire to acquire arms. A titular 
Rajah of the old school of my acquaintance has accumulated 
a collection of eighty weapons, mostly high-velocity rifles. 

It is difficult enough to secure the continued safety of 
human beings from the consequences of the diffusion of 




The Fauna of India 

arms, looked upon with equanimity by those at headquarters 
who have the framing of policy in their hands, whether 
from apathy or from a desire to appease the clamour of a 
section, or from sheer ignorance of conditions outside their 
ken. A very able Secretary to Government once vouch- 
safed the opinion to me that the spread of arms did not 
matter “ as the people would only kill themselves with them.” 

In view of this it is idle to expect that the Wild Birds and 
Animals’ Protection Act, 1912, and the rules passed there- 
under, will remain anything else than the dead letter which 
they are and have been for a decade or more. Magistrates 
are drawn more and more from the town-dwelling classes 
both of India and Britain, subordinate officials are apathetic 
where their superiors are uninterested, and many of them 
are among the worst offenders themselves. I have known 
a couple of police constables wipe out during one nesting 
season the whole of a muster of peafowl from a wood where 
they swarmed, and that near a Hindu temple. These, as 
you know, are considered sacred by Hindus. 

It is impossible to expect any reversal of the policy of 
permitting firearms to be held on a property qualification 
unless untoward events occur. Some who have long resided 
in India are content to shake their heads and say that 
matters have gone too far and that no good can now be 
done. This counsel is usually offered by those who have 
had all the sport they want, and who no longer take any 
active interest. It is not necessary to take up such an 
attitude of despair. The example of the United States 
shows that efficient protection of wild life can be carried 
out even in remote areas where the law of the land in 
respect of human life is not always easy to enforce. The 
ordinary Indian landholder is not by nature a destructive 
agent; he and his servitors are only doing, as I have 
said, what others have done who ought to know better. 
He will have to learn that his game is an asset to him. He 
makes a good thing out of his fisheries ; there is no reason 
why he should not do so out of his game. There is no 

The Fauna of India 


reason why he should allow any “ Khuda Baksh ” or “ Ram 
Baksh ” with a gun to slaughter at all times on his land, 
whose British counterparts are notallowed to roam atwillwith 
weapons over other people’s grouse moors or deer forests. 

Remedial Measures 

The fee for an arms licence is extremely low in India. 
There is no extra charge for a licence to shoot feathered 
game, as there is in these Islands, nor is there any approach 
to the heavy fees prevailing in the African Colonies, which 
constitute one form of protection. But the Indian land- 
holder or yeoman will not be taught without propaganda, 
and this must be done by persons or societies interested 
and having a knowledge of the conditions. This also will 
not be furthered without officials themselves taking an 
interest in the matter and fully realizing all its bearings. 
Prosecutions under the Act for first offences and harsh 
measures are not even necessary. A wise discrimination in 
the grant of licences for sport, a strict scrutiny of the actions 
of those who have them, and an immediate deprivation forany 
misuse will effect a very great deal. So will a knowledge 
of the Schedules under the Act, provided that it is enforced. 
In my own Judgeship I had copies of the schedule of 
protected birds and animals and close seasons translated 
into the vernacular at my own expense and distributed to 
licence holders through my colleague the district magistrate ; 
so that at any rate there was no excuse of ignorance of the 
rules, which hitherto had only been printed in English. 

Forest Reserves and Jungles 

I now turn to what is a much more serious question, 
namely the threat to the large game of British India in 
Government reserved forests or in forest belonging to 
great landlords. With regard to this last, which is known 
as zemindari jungle, the same factors operate as in the open 
country. The only modification is that some of the more 
sporting landlords preserve with the same care as in Britain, 


The Fauna of India 

others are apathetic and allow servitors or strangers to 
destroy game to their hearts’ content. 

The Government reserved forest is the last refuge of 
much of the fauna, which could live and thrive there with- 
out let or hindrance to mankind if permitted to do so 
within reason. In the forests of Gonda, in North Oudh, 
for instance, are found tiger, bear, leopard, hysena, wild dog, 
wild boar, and three kinds of deer, with two of antelope. 
This was varied in 1924 by the visit of a stray rhinoceros. 
As shown by place-names, the wild elephant has disappeared 
but recently. The audience must not, however, think that 
all these animals are to be found in every quarter of these 
forests, although up to a very few years ago any beat 
would disclose a fairly representative collection. 

The Tiger 

I am going to take this piece of country as an example 
which I have known well, and in which the last five years 
have shown whither the present rate of destruction will lead 
if not checked. Here let me correct a popular misappre- 
hension. That magnificent but unfortunate animal the tiger 
is everywhere taken as a simile of all the qualities of ferocity 
and destruction. In fact, there is now a play on the London 
stage in which the bad qualities of certain disreputable 
human beings are said to be “ the tiger in them.” With all 
respect for the talented author, I venture to say that the 
average tiger would Be very averse to cultivating the failings 
portrayed in his supposedly human counterparts. He 
displays ferocity only when wounded and forced to fight, or 
when he turns into a man-eater, which is rare. Man-eating 
is either the result of bad upbringing by a tigress hard put 
to it to provide for her cubs, or the result of the extermina- 
tion of game by man, leaving no other source of food supply 
than cattle or their guardians. 

Here we come to another “ snag ” which sometimes besets 
the headquarters official. Under a volley of “questions in 
Council about a man-eater or renowned cattle-killer, he 

The Fauna of India 


instructs the local district authority to issue a number of 
licences to selected shikaris or hunters. Now most of these 
men are not so unwise as to face a tiger of this description 
for a problematical reward to be shared with all manner of 
Government underlings, when they can make small profits 
and quick returns by poaching deer, etc., for the market. 
Hence occurs a further diminution of the tiger’s natural food 
supply and a further driving of him to crime. In fact, I have 
only known one man-eater killed by a local shikari, half of 
whose reward was filched from him by the Patwari of his 
Patti, while I have known several instances of the other sort. 

The correct agency for dealing with the man-eater is the 
properly equipped sportsman, and if such man-eaters were 
advertised elsewhere than in the dry columns of a Govern- 
ment Gazette, there would be no difficulty in finding sports- 
men to deal with them. I have known a man-eater 
functioning within thirty miles of a large cantonment, and not 
a single military officer there knew of it until I told one of 
them, although the area was not in my charge. 

A curious anomaly is the superstitious delicacy, to put it 
mildly, not to say aversion, of many of the peasantry against 
assisting in destroying or even giving news of a man-eater. 

I myself met with an example of this feeling also in connec- 
tion with, of all animals, a Himalayan bear which had been 
startled out of its sleep by a shopkeeper’s wife gathering 
herbs, and which promptly fractured her skull. My assist- 
ance was requested, so I left my work and was on the spot 
within two hours, having been assured that the animal was 
marked down. I then met with that curious passive 
resistance well known in India, and typified by blank 
communal stupidity on the part of the village (which was 
not the home of the victim), headed by the thokdar or 
leading landholder. Eventually it was disclosed that the 
bear had previously been seen about in a sacred deodar 
grove of their temple and was therefore the incarnation of 
their god, who had taken for himself a human sacrifice. 

In fact, both the sloth and the Himalayan bear is ordinarily 


The Fauna of India 

a far more vicious animal than are any of the carnivora. 
The tiger is, as a rule, a good-tempered, placid creature, 
timid of mankind to an excess that must be experienced to 
be believed. Under natural conditions he fulfils a very 
useful function in keeping the ungulata (deer and wild boar) 
within reasonable limits. When his numbers have been 
badly thinned by continuous shooting, we have a cry from 
some forest officers that the ungulata are in excess. An 
excellent enactment has been put into force in the United 
Provinces whereby the allowance of tiger is now limited to 
four per gun per annum. This was called for by the 
destruction wrought by one or two sportsmen of the old 
school who had little thought for the future. 

Even where the tiger is a cattle-killer, he chiefly preys on 
the stragglers of the herd, old worn-out cows and bullocks 
which religious sentiment preserves to consume the grazing 
of better animals. The result is that these useless creatures 
meet with a speedy end instead of being pecked to death by 
vultures when in a moribund state, as is often their lot. 
This is why tiger in incredible numbers still exist in many 
parts of Nepal, cheek by jowl with the large herds of cattle 
on which they prey in default of the ungulata, which in 
that country have been mercilessly slaughtered for butcher’s 

“Bachelor” and “Percy” 

Let me give the brief life history of two average tigers. 
“ Bachelor,” so called, is a heavy, shy, game-killing tiger 
who has roamed the ridges behind Naini Tal for many years 
past. His beat is well known, so are his footprints, but few 
human beings have ever seen him in the flesh. He has 
never touched cattle and will probably die of extreme old 

When I first knew “Percy,” another well-known 
character, he was just such a timid game-killer. His home 
was in the high hills about Mornaula, on the bridle road 
between Almora and Nepal. Six years ago I revisited the 
place on a holiday and found “ Percy ” indulging at intervals 

The Fauna of India 


in the sin of cow-killing. He followed a man in my employ 
who was going to tie up a hait for him ; the man discharged 
his fowling-piece in the air. “ Percy ” fled and temporarily 
lost his nerve for cattle-killing. A few nights after he 
jumped into the encampment of some carriers and took one 
of their mules. Such was their indifference to episodes of 
this kind that the information of it only came out as a result 
of my enquiries. The last news of “ Percy ” was that he 
still continued according to custom ; but it was said with 
pride that “ he never was known to harm a human being.” 
Judging from certain symptoms betrayed by his human 
admirers, he was likely to undergo deification as an incarna- 
tion of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, in the form of 
Narsingh the tiger-god. 

On the trip in question 1 found that the ghural or 
Himalayan chamois, a little beast perfectly harmless to crops 
or anything else, had been practically exterminated from a 
mountain where they had formerly been plentiful. The 
reason was that licences had been given out in considerable 
numbers owing to the depredations of a local man-eating 
tigress with a young family. The new licencees, after the 
manner of their kind, liked not her look and preferred to 
poach the ghural for meat, with the connivance of the 
forest guard, whose douceur for closing an eye was four 
rupees a year per “gun.” 

The leopard is generally a far more impertinent and self- 
reliant animal; he often hangs aboutvillages, and, being more 
diurnal than the tiger, learns more of the domestic habits of 
mankind. This is why he is such a fiend when he turns to 
man-killing. A tiger of this kind is bad enough, but few 
such display the devilish audacity of the man-eating leopard. 

Now let me return to the Government forests of Gonda, 
which march for seventy miles with Nepal. Our tigers are 
mainly winter visitors from that country. Sympathy need 
not be wasted over the sloth bear, interesting as he is, for 
he is dangerous to work-people in the forests and there is 
a substantial reward for his destruction. There are other 


The Fauna of India 

parts of India where he can flourish without being an in- 
cubus. Panther are too cunning to allow themselves to be 
exterminated by sportsmen, and the local poacher leaves 
them alone, but they will vanish with their natural food 
supply, the ungulata. 

Deer and Wild Boar 

Now within my five years at Gonda the ungulata have 
been almost exterminated from many parts of these mag- 
nificent forests. A bare forty miles from the eastern 
march was born Gautama Buddha, first of humanitarians, 
twenty-four centuries ago. With the exception at rare 
intervals of a few forest bungalows, the country and its 
inhabitants must be exactly as he knew it ; little wattle-and- 
daub villages in the warm, highly cultivated clearings, the 
dark green of the Sal forest surrounding them, the violet 
mountains of Nepal overtopping them. It would be tragic 
indeed if the wild animals which he loved, and round whom 
centre many Buddhistic legends, were to be exterminated 
in a few short years by descendants of the men for whose 
ideals he did so much, never to reappear before human eye. 

Beats which one knew well to contain many mature 
sambhur-stags as well as brockets now contain not a single 
one, and barely a doe. Axis or spotted deer have been 
estimated to be 75 per cent, less than in 1912. The 
ingenious theory has been advanced that the ungulata 
migrate for long distances and are not where expected to 
be. This will not stand examination. It is a common 
explanation also vouchsafed in other countries where game 
is on the verge of extinction. 

The cause of this has been the ruthless poaching both on 
our side and from the Nepalese side of the frontier. Large 
armed gangs of Gurkhas come down in broad daylight in 
the cold weather and shoot in line through our forests, 
slaying everything they see. Our forest subordinates are 
terrified of them. Matters improved for a time with a 
British forest officer (an ex-cavalryman), who exchanged 

The Fauna of India 


shots with one gang. The district authorities were reluctant 
to approach the local government, so, acting as a private 
person, I took the matter up with H.H. the Prime Minister 
and Ruler of Nepal. Once convinced of the evil, he issued 
drastic orders to his officials to stop poachers crossing the 
frontier ; but the fact remains that we cannot expect his 
scattered outposts to protect our forests, and we cannot 
expect our unarmed and underpaid forest guards to face 
armed Gurkhas, when acquiescence will bring a share of the 
proceeds. On our own side a certain forest ranger was 
dismissed after securing over Rs. 40,000 in illicit gratifica- 
tions for unauthorized fellings and other “ graft.” It was 
found by me that this worthy had connived at poaching by 
jungle villagers in his range, on condition of receiving the 
reward on any bear skins they secured. 

The new officers of Indian birth who are coming into the 
Indian Forest Service are mainly townsmen. It is welcome 
news, therefore, that the head of the U.P. Forest Service 
has circularized his officers, pointing out that game protec- 
tion is part of their duties, and it is to be hoped that this 
will continue to be understood in all provinces. Otherwise, 
as a Kayasth forest officer observed to me, “It will depend 
on whether superior officers take interest in such matters.” 
With the frequent changes in Indian official life we may 
imagine the consequences of one officer holding charge 
“ who does not take interest ” in the local fauna. 

Unpalatable as the statement may be, this rate of 
destruction is not, alas, confined to any one area or province. 
It is not suggested that it is as yet universal, or that there 
are not areas where game is as plentiful as of old. But it 
is useless not to face the fact that if not checked it will 
rapidly become almost universal. Destruction is not caused 
by the bona-fide present-day sportsmen, whether British or 
Indian, although some Indian gentry of the old school still 
follow the example of an older generation of Europeans not 
so meticulously careful in their sporting ways, and rely on 
local influence to carry it off. 

io6 The Fauna of India 

In fact, the sportsman is the best remedial influence, since 
he can inform superior authority of any marked diminution 
and of possible reasons thereof. He is further obliged to 
send in a return of all animals shot by his party. 

Sanctuaries have not proved a success in India. Not 
being visited by sportsmen, and being but one of many 
charges of the forest officer, they are a temptation to 
minor forest subordinates to let out “guns” therein. Bona- 
fide sport is so carefully controlled that a shooting block 
used to be, and still should be, in itself as much of a sanc- 
tuary as many of the game preserves of other countries, 
where the wardens have to keep the stock of game within 

It is the control of unauthorized destruction out of sight 
of superiors and at unhealthy seasons of the year which 
must once more be effected, (i) Poaching is sometimes 
carried out by the friends (often unemployed) of forest sub- 
ordinates. This can be stopped by superior officers. 
( 2 ) It is still more the act of villagers living in villages adja- 
cent to forests. No one questions the rustic’s right to 
keep wild animals out of his fields. 

Crop Protection 

One remark I here feel obliged to make which may 
savour of cavilling, but which arises from personal experi- 
ence. The recent report of the Royal Commission on 
Indian Agriculture suggests a more liberal issue of arms 
licences for crop protection “ in view of the depredations of 
wild animals.” As I have stated, in many parts crops have 
already been protected to the extent of almost exterminat- 
ing the ungulata. The mobs of surplus domestic cattle, 
often half-wild and ownerless, the concourses of apes (also 
held sacred), and the numerous Brahminy bulls turned out 
by the pious Hindu, are a far greater burden to the agricul- 
turist, because widespread over many parts of rural India 
far from forest areas. Afforested tracts are few and far 
compared with the acreage under cultivation. 

The Fauna of India 


Licences for crop protection are now, and have been for 
some time, lavishly given out ; every such village has a col- 
lection of long-barrelled and very effective muzzle-loaders, 
which are illicitly used in Government forests. It is much 
pleasanter to shoot for a living than to protect crops, which, 
it may be pointed out to the present day magistrate, can be 
as well protected by a muzzle-loader with a 12-inch barrel 
This was the old form of crop protection gun, and even then 
was used for poaching to some extent. Nowadays the howls 
of dismay from the peasant when such a gun is conferred on 
him for crop protection show what it is chiefly wanted for. 

There are only two armed shooting guards for the whole 
of our seventy miles of forest They are ordinary rustics 
and receive the magnificent salary of Rs. 12, or less 
than a pound a month. One cannot expect a man to resist 
temptation on such a salary, far less to be energetic and to 
risk life and limb. There are plenty of respectable 
ex-Sepoys whose services could be secured, if they were 
paid a reasonable salary. 

Here we come to the question of lack of funds, which is 
always to the fore in India. The present fee for a “gun” 
in a block in Government forest in the United Provinces is 
Rs. 10 for a fortnight, an unwarrantably low charge. If 
this fee were raised even to thrice its present figure, it 
would be a mere trifle compared with the total expenses 
of a shoot, which involves the payment of beaters and 
trackers and numerous gratuities. Such an increase could 
be applied to the expenses of adequate protection. 

Co-ordinated Effort 

Any remedial measures will, however, require co-ordina- 
tion, which will not easily be attained without a central 
direction. Burma has taken the lead in this. Thanks to 
the sporting spirit of her then Governor, she has got an 
officer of the Forest Department especially deputed as 
Game Warden to conserve her fine but harassed fauna. 
The keenness of the present holder of the office has aroused 

io8 The Fauna of India 

interest in his task not only among Europeans but amongst 
Burmese, and he is now about to inaugurate a game pro- 
tection society with a mixed membership of all races 
resident in the province. 

In Northern Bengal, European planters and Indian 
landlords have combined in so-called shooting clubs to 
protect as many areas as possible from the destruction 
which is rife in that province. The hardihood of poachers 
in Bengal is shown by a pitched battle which took place 
last winter in the Sundarbans, not far from Calcutta, between 
poachers of the “ Goi Sanp ” and a Bengali forest ranger 
and his guards. The “ Goi Sanp,” or monitor lizard, is 
protected by the Bengal Government owing to its keeping 
in check snakes and other reptiles. Its skin, however, 
commands a high price for fashionable footwear for ladies. 

In other provinces there are not usually so many non- 
official European residents with tastes similar to their Indian 
neighbours to originate action ; but there is no reason why 
they should not follow the example of Burma and appoint 
a Game Warden to concert protective measures. 

The interests of the farmer, the sportsman, and the game 
have all been co-ordinated in Kenya by the sensible policy 
of the Game Department of that Colony. There is no 
reason why there should not be a similar accommodation 
in India. The spirit is there. The vast mass of Hindus 
have a real tenderness for animal life. Although this takes 
at times idealistic forms, it only requires right direction. 
To many of the Mussulman landowners and yeomen the 
pursuit of game is not merely inspired by a dietetic object. 

The majority of Europeans who enter the Army or 
public services in India do so in the expectation of seeing 
something of its wild life. 

Those who love India will, I am sure, join in hoping 
that all elements will exercise that foresight which the 
situation demands, and will work together to ensure the 
perpetuation in reasonable numbers of the species which 
comprise our fauna. 

The Fauna of India 



A MEETING of the Association was held at the Caxton Hall, Westminster, 
S.W. I, on Monday, November ii, 1929, at which Mr. Waris Ameer Ali 
read a paper entitled “ The Fauna of India.” 

The Right Hon. Lord Lloyd, g.c.s.i., g.c.i.e., d.s.o., was in the chair, 
and the following ladies and gentlemen, among others, were present : 
Sir Louis William Dane, G.C.I.E., cs.i., Sir James Walker, k.c.i.e., Colonel 
Sir Umar Hayat Khan, k.c.i.e., c.b.e., m.v.o.. Sir Harcourt Butler, g.c.s.i., 
G.C.I.E., Sir Richard Dane, k.c.i.e.. Sir Alfred Chatterton, ci.e., Sir 
Montagu Webb, c.i.e., c.b.e., and Miss Webb, Sir Cecil Walsh, Sir 
William Ovens Clark, Sir Basanta Kumar Mullick, Lady Simon, Lady 
Eckstein and Miss Eckstein, Mr. A. L. Saunders, c.s.i.. Colonel Aubrey 
O’Brien, c.i.e., c.b.e., and Mrs. O’Brien, Mr. A. Montgomerie, c.i.e.. 
Professor L. F. Rushbrook Williams, c.b.e., Mr. S. Lupton, o.b.e., the Hon. 
Miss Gertrude Kinnaird, Mr. F. J. P. Richter, Mr. P. K. Dutt, Mr. G. Scott 
Bremner, Mr. G. Q. Khan, Mrs. Ameer Ali, Mrs. Waris Ameer Ali, Mrs. 
Latifi, Colonel and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Mr. G. M. Ryan, Mr. M. Nazir, 
Mr. M. Ali, Mrs. W. G. Martley, Miss E. L. Curteis, Mr. J. Sladen, Miss 
Corfield, Mr. W. E. Bennett, the Atiya Begum Fyzee Rahamin, Mr. 
Fyzee Rahamin, Mr. S. Kabadi, Mr. Altaf Husain, Dr. A. Shah, Major 
Atherley, Mr. R. S. Greenshields, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Dewar, Dr. Nell, 
Mr. H. C. Flinders Petrie, and Mr. F. H. Brown, c.i.e., Hon. Secretary. 

The Chairm.^n ; It is a particular pleasure to me to be here this after- 
noon, not only because of the interest of the subject to which we are to listen, 
but because the lecturer is the son of that very distinguished person, the 
late Right Honourable Ameer Ali, whom most of us in this room knew 
well, and with whom I personally was closely associated in very many 
matters of Near and Middle East policy for many years. He spent his life 
interpreting with great wisdom and courage the best sentiments in India 
towards this country and this country towards India. Therefore, to have 
an opportunity of meeting his son and presiding over his lecture gives 
me great pleasure, as well as the opportunity of paying a very humble 
tribute to the memory of that distinguished father of his. I introduce you 
to Mr. Waris Ameer Ali. 

(Mr. Waris Ameer Ali read the paper.) 

Sir Harcourt Butler congratulate^ the lecturer very heartily on his 
interesting and excellent lecture. The subject was one of great import- 
ance. It was only of recent years that civilized countries had come to a 
conclusion, and had taken action upon that conclusion, that it was 
essential to preserve the fauna which were being fast exterminated. When 
the importance of the subject was fully realized in India, there would, he 
hoped, be no real difficulty in devising some scheme which would go 
a long way towards the preservation of the fauna. Some shooting rules 
which were passed when the speaker was Governor of the United Provinces 


The Fauna of India 

did not go far enough ; public opinion was not then ripe for any further 
advance. In Burma, with the assistance of his ministers, the speaker was 
able to go further, and appoint a Game Warden, Mr. H. Smith, who had, 
he heard, done wonders already in attracting public attention to this very 
important subject. The difficulties were great. You could not allow the 
cultivators’ crops to be destroyed. But the difficulties were not insuper- 
able, and he was quite certain that if in other provinces men of the 
enthusiasm and tact of Mr. Smith in Burma were appointed to deal with 
the question they would achieve a very great result. As it was two years 
since he left India he did not like to generalize on present conditions, but 
when he left the country he had no doubt whatever in his mind, after 
having been head of the administration in two provinces, that too many 
licenses were issued, and that the issue of the unnecessarily large number of 
licenses had led to the destruction of fauna, and also to increase in crime. 
He hoped the local governments in India would turn their attention 
to this very important subject before it was too late to achieve the results 
which most of those who had thought deeply on the subject most 
earnestly desired. 

Colonel Sir Umar Hayat said the subject was of such import- 
ance that he proposed to take the lecture with him and to do the best he 
could, when he returned to India, to put it into the papers and before the 
various authorities, and see if anything in that direction could be done. 
They all knew that one of the real causes of the diminution of the game 
was that so many colonies had sprung up, and the various waterways and 
canals, that naturally the game had to leave or be killed off. When 
the whole countryside came under cultivation the game had to go, 
unless there were some new means devised, such as large jungles, to act as 
preserves. It was really not so much the licenses given that had contri- 
buted to the killing of these things. A man took a license for a gun. He 
told his friend to fill the gun, and when he had put in sufficient charge he 
showed it to him. He put his finger into it, and, of course, his finger 
would not reach to where the powder was, and so he said, “ It is empty.” 
His friend said : “No, it is full.” They had discussions, and then 
attempted to fire it, and, of course, it blew off. There was no danger 
from those men. They had shikaris, who kept a sort of screen with which 
they could drive hundreds of partridges into a net. That was how game 
was exterminated. He thought there was something in the aeroplane 
which was made with the eggs of duck. He did not know how far 
that was true, but there were certain companies on the big lakes near 
Tibet and Russia which collected the eggs of the duck for this purpose. 
The pig was the only thing which really did destroy the crops, but then 
they had men who, without a spear or anything at all, could knock a big 
boar over. The wild animals only killed to the extent of their own food, 
and a man did not. They ought really to learn from the beasts in that 
direction, not kill thousands of pheasants, as they did here and elsewhere. 
He thought some such thing would have to be done in British India as 
was done in the States, though on a milder scale. When the son of a 
rajah killed one of the deer in his father’s domain, he was sent out of 

The Fauna of India 


the place for about fifteen years. He thought if the lecturer’s paper was 
sent to the Indian papers it might have the desired effect. 

Sir Richard Dane was sure that every sportsman and every naturalist 
must feel deeply indebted to Mr. Waris Ameer Ali for the interest he had 
taken in this subject. As the lecturer had said, there is no more interest- 
ing and varied fauna in the world than there is in India, and certainly no 
more beautiful fauna. It would be a thousand pities if it were destroyed. 
Where there was a peasantry proprietorship and a liberal distribution 
of arms, such as had recently taken place, the case appeared hopeless ; 
but he thought a great deal might be done if Mr. Waris Ameer Ali and 
other Indian gentlemen interested in the subject in association with him 
would get in touch with Lord Onslow or Sir Peter Chalmers-Mitchell, and 
form in India a branch of the Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of 
the Empire. By judicious propaganda the large landowners in the United 
Provinces and the Central Provinces might be induced to realize that the 
game on their estate was a valuable asset, and that it was not to their 
interest to allow it to be destroyed by professional shikaris. A Society of 
that kind would also help to keep the various departments up to the mark 
and to prevent abuses in connection with the licensing and use of firearms. 
At the present time the Forest Department regulations for the preservation 
of game were excellent, but there was a danger of their being relaxed or 
neglected with the change in the system of recruitment for the Depart- 
ment which was taking place. He quite agreed with the lecturer that 
sanctuaries would not answer in India There was always the danger 
that if any exalted personage came along the sanctuary would be dis- 
regarded. He considered the present rules with regard to block shooting, 
if properly worked, were quite sufficient to preserve the game in the 
Government forests. As the lecturer had said, the Indian Princes looked 
after their own game in their own territories, and if the game was preserved 
in the Government forests and in the Indian states, and if the large land- 
owners in the United Provinces and the Central Provinces could be inter- 
ested in the subject, a great deal could be done to save the Indian fauna 
from extinction. 

Mr. Rushbrook Williams said the problems which had been ventilated 
that afternoon had exercised some of the Indian states for a long time. 
In the Indian states the problem of game preservation was complicated 
by two factors : first of all, the obvious necessity of preventing the game 
doing damage to the local crops ; and, secondly, what might be called the 
political necessity of obliging distinguished visitors. Those two factors 
working together had sufficed to lend urgency to a problem already suffici- 
ently complex. In several Indian states the compromise they had arrived 
at had been on the line of rigidly distinguishing between an arms license 
and a shooting license. Arms licenses were issued for the protection of 
persons or of crops, and only entitled the person who obtained the license 
in particular cases to a revolver, and as a rule to the equivalent of the 
“ sawed-off shot-gun,” which was practically useless for poaching purposes. 
Arms licenses could thus be issued fairly frequently, while shooting 
licenses or game licenses could be controlled and limited. The result 


The Fauna of India 

was a natural tendency for the animals themselves to flock into preserves 
scientifically arranged in such a way that one of the preserves could be 
shot over once every two or three years, and not more. The result was 
that while the hospitable obligations of the state were discharged in 
respect of distinguished visitors, and excellent sport was assured, at the 
same time there was no risk of the extermination of the larger fauna. 
There had been a certain amount of difficulty in the past from poaching, 
particularly from British India. There seemed to be a belief among 
tourists, and even among those resident in India long enough to know 
better, that every European, no matter in what locality he found himself, 
had a kind of prescriptive right to enjoy some of the best sport in the 
world simply for the price of his cartridges. Anyone who was not familiar 
with the local conditions would hardly believe the difficulty which some 
of the officers in the Indian states had in convincing, one would have 
thought, perfectly normal people that they really had no more right to walk 
over the border of a state and shoot in a game preserve than they would 
have, for instance, to walk into one of the Duke of Sutherland’s deer 
forests in Scotland and shoot there without the owner’s permission. That 
circumstance had produced one good result in that it had induced a large 
number of the Indian states to put in charge of their game preservation 
departments officers of skill and tact and courtesy, and to man these 
departments with a rank and file of a very superior type. In some states 
the rank and file of the game preservation department were more highly 
paid than the police or even the sepoys in the army. Experience in the 
states showed that the problem of securing a nice adjustment between the 
preservation of the ungulata and the interests of the cultivator was by no 
means insoluble. But he considered that the matter required almost daily 
watching, and for that reason he was very glad to notice that Mr. Waris 
Ameer Ali had stressed so much its importance. 

Mr. Montgomerie considered that the lecturer and the previous 
speakers had slid rather lightly over the question of crop preservation. In 
Bombay there was no doubt whatever that it was a problem of the most 
vital importance to the agriculturalist. Those who had seen forty or fifty 
nilgai wandering out of the edge of the forest into a field of cotton, and 
doing their best to destroy a year’s cultivation, realized that the problem 
was a real one. A herd of elephants wandering into a village could destroy 
the whole cultivation of the village for a year. In Bombay they had made 
very elaborate enquiries into the extent of damage which had been done 
by wild animals, and it was very large, more especially from black buck. 
That led to a difficulty raised by the lecturer. One had rather a vicious 
circle : no black buck or no pig, then no tiger, or only tiger which lived on 
cattle. The difficulty, then, was to preserve the tiger for shooting. The 
speaker was always in favour of preserving for shooting, and he realized 
that the preservation of the fauna added enormously to the interest of life 
in India. He merely wished to suggest that the lecturer had slurred a 
little over the actual practical difficulty which was involved; he even slurred 
over the danger to human life caused by tiger. It was true that motor- 
cars killed more human beings than tigers. But there was a certain trades- 

The Fauna of India 


union spirit in the matter. If there were any killing to be done, human 
beings would prefer to do it themselves ; and we did not wish to see any 
tigers “ butting in.” It was possible, as Mr. Rushbrook Williams had said, 
to regulate the thing in some of the Indian states where there were very 
large areas of jungle, but it required, as was mentioned, daily watching, 
which the staff of a British district could not give ; they had not a sufficient 
personnel for the purpose. A further difficulty which had not been touched 
upon was the difficulty that in the future the matter would not be, as it had 
been in the past, one entirely for the decisions of sympathetic officers of 
the Forest Service. Forests were now, in Bombay at least, a “transferred 
subject.” The minister in charge of the Forestry Department would be 
more and more subject to pressure on the part of the agricultural interests 
in the legislative council to carry out measures for the extirpation of 
things like black buck and pig, which would considerably add to the 

Sir Cecil Walsh was in entire sympathy with everything the lecturer 
had said. He came there to learn, and he had enjoyed the paper enor- 
mously. He agreed with what had been said, particularly by Sir Harcourt 
Butler, but he was going to follow Mr. Montgomerie’s example and strike 
a somewhat discordant note. It was suggested to him by a passage in the 
lecture on a subject which had always been very close to his heart. His 
view, while he sat in the Appellate Court of Allahabad, was that the issue 
of gun licenses ought to be increased] he would not disagree with the 
lecturer, they might be restricted in a particular direction. But he could 
not repeat the terrible, heart-rending stories to which one had to listen in 
a criminal Court, hearing dacoity cases, of the sufferings of villagers. He 
did not doubt that a great number of dacoits, not all of them, obtained 
their firearms from men who had licenses. Some of their firearms might 
be remnants from the War, some appeared to be from Noah’s Ark. But, 
no doubt, many of them came from men who had licenses. What hap- 
pened ? Having selected their village, dacoits got within earshot in the 
dead of night, and then fired a couple of blank shot. The effect of that 
upon the villagers could be appreciated. They knew what was coming ; 
they knew they were for it. Many of them rushed out and hid outside the 
village ; others collected on the roofs, and got together a few brickbats. 
That was all the resource the unfortunate people and the unfortunate 
women (the sufferings of Indian village women during dacoities could be 
imagined) had. They were at the mercy of these men who came at night, 
armed, many of them, with firearms. He had not discussed it, not having 
had an opportunity, but it struck him that a license could be issued to each 
village. There must be in every village somebody who, with a little train- 
ing, could be trusted with a double-barrelled gun, and if, when the threat 
of dacoity was made, a blank charge even was fired off, it was certain the 
dacoits would make themselves scarce. The dacoits now, after firing off 
their guns and entering the village, lighted torches. They could not do 
that if there was somebody in the village with a gun. He would be told 
that the villager could not be trusted, but he did not believe it. No doubt 
there would be men who, having been entrusted by the Government with 

The Fauna of India 


the defence of the village, would desert to the dacoits, but whoever did so 
would be known, while the dacoits were not. He would be a marked man, 
and there would be means of catching him. Dacoits, during the speaker's 
years of service, especially after the War, had increased by leaps and 
bounds ; they were extremely difficult to catch ; they were extremely diffi- 
cult to identify. Although he did not anticipate that many in the room 
would agree with him, he felt that there was a means open to the Govern- 
ment of providing some defence to the unfortunate villages, by giving some 
villager a license to carry a gun. 

The Chairman : Ladies and Gentlemen, — Time is getting on, and I 
shall only add a few words before I ask the lecturer to reply to one or two 
points that have been raised. After Sir Harcourt Butler has expressed 
timidity in generalizing on India after an absence of two years, I am 
a great deal more alarmed at doing anything of the kind after an absence 
of over six, but it gives me an opportunity of thanking the lecturer, telling 
him how much we have enjoyed his lecture, and how interesting the 
ensuing discussion has been. We have had some useful pieces of discord- 
ancy thrown in. I can bear testimony to what Mr. Montgomerie, who was 
a colleague of mine in the Bombay Presidency years ago, has pointed out 
as to the difficulties in regard to agriculture. I think in a way he provided 
himself his own answer, because when he referred to the pressure that 
is certain to be put upon the Legislative Council by the agricultural vote, 
it seems abundantly clear it is time we ourselves took time by the forelock 
and looked into this question. In glancing through a pamphlet before 
I came here, in an attempt to dissipate some of my ignorance of this sub- 
ject, I was surprised, although I have been in Africa now for the last four 
or five years, at the pace at which the destruction of wild life could be 
accomplished. There is a quotation from Cherry Kearton’s book in this 
pamphlet : “ I have travelled from Cape Colony to the Congo, and 
although I was on the lookout all the way, I did not see half a dozen 
animals during a journey of hundreds of miles. Even in Kenya, the last 
stronghold of mammals, life is rapidly disappearing, and the lover of wild 
creatures living and loving and roaming among their natural surroundings 
has only a sense of loneliness in place of former joy.” It is useful for us 
to remember, even if the destruction of fauna in India is not very grave 
yet, that unless proper measures are taken, it may be accomplished very 
rapidly. In the Soudan, it may interest you to know, we have a Wild 
Animals Ordinance, which we passed two or three years ago, and which, 
I think, is going to be very effective. We entirely prohibit the capture 
and killing of a large category of animals. We have three or four very 
large reserves, and we prohibit certain types of firearms. It is certain 
there are plenty of wild animals there at present, because last year, when 
I was doing a tour, and was motoring down from the mountains to catch 
my steamer, I ran into a lion, and caught him on the off hind with the 
mudguard of my motor-car. When the lecturer mentioned the extra- 
ordinary mild temper of the tiger, I can only say I was very glad my car 
was fast, and that the lion was somewhat frightened himself; he made off 
very rapidly. I hope the lecturer will give us a reply at any rate on one or 

The Fauna of India 115 

two of the points raised. I conclude in thanking him very sincerely for a 
very entertaining and interesting afternoon. 

The Lecturer : My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, — One or two points 
have been raised, perfectly legitimate and reasonable points. There was 
one by Mr. Montgomerie about the destruction caused to cultivation by 
pig, black buck, and nilgai. Nobody for one instant would claim that 
game should have preference over crops. But what I particularly wanted 
to point out in this paper was that the war against the game has been 
carried even into Government Reserved Forests. That is what I am 
trying to get at. With regard to black buck and pig, it is easy to keep 
them down to a proper level. In many localities they have been almost, 
if not quite, wiped out. After all, there are now lots of Indian gentlemen 
who would be only too willing to have a week or a fortnight in a locality 
where they require thinning out, and there are lots of British officers in 
cantonments and tent clubs who would do the same if requested. 

As regards nilgai, we have the added complication of the fact that it is 
regarded as a sacred animal by Hindus. I do not like emphasizing per- 
sonal experiences, but on one occasion there was a loud wail from a village 
about the damage done by nilgai about five miles from my house. I was 
persuaded to go out in the hot weather. It was a Brahmin village. I shot 
one nilgai, to the great joy at the time of the villagers. One of them came 
up and offered to take it home in his bullock-cart. He drove it to my 
house, and was unmercifully chaffed on the road that he, a Brahmin, was 
carrying this sinfully slaughtered animal home to the murderer. They got 
me out there again three or four times afterwards. I paid the Brahmins for 
every beat, and they let the herd through each time. I was only put wise 
to it by an untouchable, who came up and said : “ These Brahmins are 
having a game with you, they are pulling your leg. If you take us low- 
caste folk {,sudd qauni) to beat we will get the nilgai up to the gun all 
right.” I said : “ If that is their attitude, you will probably do the same ; 
no, if you want your crops eaten by nilgai, you can have the nilgai.” The 
pig in this village had all been wiped out years before by an excise 
inspector with a taste for pork. 

With regard to wild elephants, there was an elephant-catching depart- 
ment of the Government of India, which provided a useful income to the 
Government. The sale of the right of capture of elephants in Assam and 
Burma still brings in a handsome sum. 

With regard to what Sir Cecil Walsh very rightly pointed out, the 
problem of the dacoit, it is very serious, and one feels very much for the 
“ defenceless villager,” but I ventured to point out in the one instance I gave 
that the “ defenceless villagers ” routed a gang sixty strong with at least 
one breechloader. If I may venture to say so, the remedy for dacoity that 
I found best is to hit the dacoit very hard and make the industry un- 
profitable ; also, at the same time, to ginger up the police inspectors, sub- 
inspectors, and all concerned. Dacoity comes to a very rapid stop if that 
is done. Speaking from memory, in the first year in my late judgeship I 
tried persons for twenty-six separate dacoitic robberies ; the second year I 
think I tried four, the third three, and so on about the same, but these latter 

Il6 The Fauna of Itidia 

were mild gangs which came in from outside the judgeship where they had 
not yet learned that if captured they would suffer condign punishment. 

At this point someone in the audience said, They went and stole out- 
side the district. 

The Lecturer replied : No, the majority of professional dacoits were 
in prison for long periods as involuntary guests of the Crown. Others 
were absconding for fear of arrest. The upshot is that dacoity and all 
other serious crime can be controlled where the Sessions Courts and the 
police authorities do their duty with efficiency and common sense, and 
High Courts do not interfere unreasonably in appeal. The wholesale issue 
of firearms only gives greater temptation to commit crimes. 

Sir Louis D-\ne : Before I discharge the pleasant duty which I have to 
perform of proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman and lecturer, may 
I point out that in this matter of the preservation of wild fauna as in most 
others it is impossible to ignore the ladies. The lecturer has told you how 
the fashion for lizard skin shoes led to fights between the forest guards in 
the far-off Sundarbans of Bengal and poachers who were killing the hideous 
but harmless monitor lizards who are useful there for killing off snakes. 

The chinchilla is another animal which has been almost exterminated 
for its skin. So valuable has this become that an American lady hoped to 
cover a loss of £, 10,000 in the recent Wall Street slump by the sale of her 
chinchilla coat. 

Some forty-five years ago the feathers of the beautiful monal pheasant 
were the craze, and the birds were hunted down in and out of season by 
day and by night. When a European organized the trade they were nearly 
exterminated in the Kulu Himalaya. As the price of a skin was some Rs.30, 
or five months’ wage of a Kulu peasant, this is not surprising. The cry was 
for more guns, and, of course, the usual excuse of crop preservation was 
put forward. An old American missionary, with the eye of faith, saw 
flocks of bears ravaging the maize fields of the peasants. The Panjab 
Government demanded an explanation. Inquiry showed that there were 
some 1,200 guns in the subdivision (in which the force for maintenance of 
law and order consisted of a dozen constables), but very few bears or 
leopards were killed as they were employed mainly for monal. The matter 
dropped. Fortunately, the fashion changed and monal feathers were not 
worn, and when I visited the tract in later years I found that natural re- 
production had made good the losses. Perhaps, then, the guns were used 
for crop protection. 

I am sure you will all wish me to tender our hearty thanks to our chair- 
man, Lord Lloyd, for kindly sparing us some of his time and for the 
valuable practical suggestions which his experience enabled him to make. 
It is gratifying to find that the lecturer takes the same interest in sport 
and sportsmanship as his British predecessors in the I.C.S. As long as 
this holds good in this and other means of benefiting the people and 
country, we need not despair of India. 


By Mrs, L. A. Underhill [Mrs. Starr, of Peshawar] 

May I first express my thanks to the East India Associa- 
tion for the honour done me in asking me to address this 
meeting ? The subject chosen is one of vital importance, 
and for three reasons : ( i ) because social influences affect 
every aspect of life ; (2) because women are chiefly affected 
by the new movements, and are the movers ; (3) because of 
what the Hartog Report says it means to India, It is 
condensed into one sentence : “ The education of women 
will make available to the country a wealth of capacity 
which is now wasted,” 

But it is not female education we think of today. That 
has recently been dealt with before your Association by an 
expert on the subject. It is rather the movements for 
social reform and how they affect the different types of 
women in India. Since India is so vast it is necessary to 
generalize, and I would speak of three types of women, 
each with a vastly different outlook from the others. 

Firstly, there are the very small percentage of women, 
highly educated, cultured, and influential, whom we have 
the pleasure of meeting in the West. 

Secondly, there are more than 90 per cent., some with 
slight learning, but the vast bulk lacking education, simple, 
virile country people, ignorant but among whom I have 
often found India’s nobility — the vast majority of ordinary 
folk who are inarticulate. But, in common with the 
educated and cultured, there is among them, too, a great 
spirit of desire, of enquiry — one feels it everywhere in 
India today — a spirit which may so easily become chaotic, 
or may be productive of untold benefits. 

Thirdly, there are the British women in India today. 

I propose to limit my remarks to the last two of these 
types — the vast bulk of the Indian women, and the British 
women in India. 

Il8 Women and New Movements in India 

In a little under twenty years in India, I have been among 
the people in the north, both the Pathan women of the 
frontier and trans-border tribes, women of the martial classes, 
among whom circumstances in recent years have placed me, 
and just the simple village and townswomen in the Punjab 
who come to the hospitals because they want healing, and 
because they trust us to give them of our best. It will, I think, 
be readily acknowledged that those who are in one way or 
another engaged in medical work, though they come as 
foreigners, yet have the greatest opportunity of seeing things 
as they are, and of getting really to know the women of 

These new movements among women today may be 
for better or for worse ; it is so easy to be destructive, 
so hard to be truly constructive, and to replace wisely and 
adequately old customs which are passing. 

The Practice of Seclusion 
Take Purdah, An honourable member in the Assembly 
referred to it as “ the pernicious purdah system or the 
very good purdah system,” according to the point of 
view. It is hard to realize the intellectual stagnation of 
the women who live in purdah until you have talked with 
them, and tried to describe some circumstance outside their 
life. One small instance : I was staying with a friend in 
Amritsar, and went with her to call on a wealthy purdah 
lady of the old regime. She asked about my journey from 
England, and about the voyage. I tried to think of the 
impression what I said would make on her mind, but 
when I found that she had not seen a river, a lake, a 
canal, or even a village tank — and that the largest piece 
of water she had seen was contained in a tub — I had 
perforce to describe the sea as “ like tubs and tubs of water 
as far as she could see, and the ship as a movable house 
going over it.” That may seem an extreme case ; but in all 
we hear of the spread of the new movement for freedom, let 
us not forget that thousands of women do exist today, living 

Women and New Movements in India 119 

in complete seclusion, with little or no knowledge of the 
outer world. Their minds are not dulled, but only unde- 
veloped ; their progress is rapid, given the opportunities, and 
their eagerness for those opportunities is often pathetic. It 
is hard, as I said, to realize the intellectual stagnation of the 
women who live in purdah, but harder still to visualize 
the havoc played on the physical side by tuberculosis, 
anaemia, and osteomalacia, which are rampant. Tubercu- 
losis is ten times more common in India amongst women 
than men, and develops in purdah, because women are 
starved, not for want of food, but for want of light and air. 
Again, as regards osteomalacia, it is an extraordinary fact 
that no man has yet been known to have the disease, and 
that even among women only those kept in purdah suffer 
from it. Purdah is the enemy of health, and we shall indeed 
be glad to see it go, but in Northern India, neither men nor 
women are ready for it to be swept away. They must be 
educated up to this, and everything depends on the sort of 
education that is given. It is religion, East or West, that 
ultimately governs the outlook on woman, not in theory, but 
in actual practice ; and the spectacle of the freedom enjoyed 
by the women of European and American countries has fired 
the interest and desire of all classes of women in India. 

Today extremes meet in India. Indian ladies are to be 
seen driving their own motor-cars, wearing burkhas, but 
thrown back from the face. Numbers of purdah ladies 
attend the All-India Women’s Conference, which in itself 
is a young movement (the fourth annual Conference is, I 
believe, to be held in February) to work for a freedom 
which shall alter the whole position of womanhood ; for 
still in the north woman is to a great extent regarded as a 
piece of property, with a certain set value in money or kind. 

But I also think of a girls’ high school — a mission one, 
the only one of its standard on the frontier — where 
moral teaching and self-development are given first place. 
So great is the appeal that this school makes locally that 
whereas till a year ago one Englishwoman was able with 


Women and New Movements in India 

her staff of Indian teachers to cope with the work, now 
three Englishwomen are fully occupied in superintending 
it, and Government, appreciating the situation, has doubled 
its grant. I think of another girls’ school where purdah 
girls, both Hindu and Mussalman, who had never left 
their city, have recently been taken out to camp for three 
weeks in the forest. There in the uniform of Guides, led 
by two English girls, who shared their life and their food 
by day, and their tents by night, they learned and practised 
the rules of Guiding, the first of which is that every Guide 
is a sister to every other Guide. Could there be a better 
way to teach courage and self-development to the Indian 
purdah girl than by Guiding under such conditions and 
wise leadership ? If “education is the knowledge of how 
to make the best of life ” (one dictionary definition), should 
not Guiding be an integral part of girls’ education in India } 
It is a new movement in India, but one that is wholly 

Early Marriage. 

Take child marriage, the custom still so prevalent, which 
effectually hampers all social reform. The Bill to raise 
the marriage age of girls to fourteen has become law (though, 
alas ! it does not come into force till April), and we rejoice, 
indeed, it is law ; but we have to remind ourselves that 
thirty-four years ago the age was raised to twelve, and four 
years ago to thirteen ; and yet I suppose there are few if 
any of us in medical work who have not seen in recent years 
some more some less of the misery and agony of mother- 
hood — not marriage — at the age of twelve in spite of 
these laws. The chief necessity now therefore is to 
enforce the new law, and for this, effective propaganda 
—both courageous and persistent, by Indians in India 
— is the essential. Because many Indian leaders have 
taken such a strong stand for the abolition of child 
marriage, it is hard in England to realize that ortho- 
doxy in India, like a solid wall, is against the change. 
Both Hindus and Mussulmans are alike in complaining 

Women and New Movements in India 


against the Government’s interference with their respective 
religions ; and deputations by both communities have 
approached the Viceroy, representing that Government 
has broken its own promise of religious neutrality by 
supporting the Bill to raise the age of marriage. This 
clearly shows that to pass the law and to enforce it are two 
very different matters. If the Hindu leaders who advo- 
cated the passing of the Act can get to work in real earnest 
and explain to the rural masses all that is involved, so that 
Indian public opinion may vitalize the measure, we shall 
see great things. Public opinion on problems considered, 
whether rightly or not, to pertain to religion is the hardest 
thing of all to change. 

Much could be done in the schools — boys’ as well as 
girls’ — to create a public opinion against child marriage. 
I think of a school of i,ooo boys in an Indian State. 
There the headmaster, a Brahman, deliberately put into 
practice what he had learned, and did not allow his 
daughter to be married until she was eighteen ; but she 
had to marry some four castes down the social scale, and 
he, her father, had to face the orthodox opinion of the city, 
which regarded him as worse than a fool. In that same 
school, among masters and older boys, there are White 
Knights — boys and men pledged to bring to notice cases 
which they hear of where girls are married under age. 
One of the rules of the school is that any boy under 
eighteen who is married shall pay double fees. Twenty 
years ago most of the boys were married. I have a 
photograph which I took there in 1905 of a group of 
small boys of under nine years of age, and all married. 
Today, out of the 1,000 boys, not a dozen are married. 
This shows what can be done by persevering teaching 
combined with the force of example, and by continued 
effort. Here, too, good marks are given, not for book 
learning, but for service rendered, and extra marks if the 
service has been to help women. It is an unusual 
sight elsewhere in India, but a common sight in that 


Women and New Movements in India 

city to see boys go out of their way to lift a heavy 
water-pot or load of wood for a woman ; and last winter 
I heard, among many instances of chivalry, of a boy who 
lent his shoes to a very poor woman trudging through the 
snow, though it meant he had to go barefoot through the 
snow himself as far as her house to get back his property. 

An education that produces actions such as this rather 
than mere examination successes is developing character, 
and is the truest preparation for public service. Young 
India urgently needs this type of education, which puts 
deeds before words, even more, I venture to say, that none 
but men so trained will be brave enough to undertake the 
spadework necessary for the abolition of child marriage. 


Take the movement to remove the ban and the curse on 
widowhood. Probably many of those here will have seen 
the Widows’ Cause, a monthly pamphlet printed in Lahore, 
the organ of a remarkable movement among Hindus 
to further the remarriage of widows. Our opinions may 
vary on this organization, but it is certainly part of the 
new movement for the freedom of women. In this paper are 
lists of names of men brave enough to marry widows, and 
of widows of all castes — quite a few are Brahmans — who 
desire remarriage. It is stated that through this organiza- 
tion an average of 500 widows are being remarried each 
month. There are also accounts of ashrams, where 
widows may live, and the trades which they can learn by 
which to earn their living. In the same Indian State to 
which I referred came the dawn of a new era when the first 
two widows were remarried a year or so ago. There was 
tremendous opposition, the whole city being placarded with 
notices putting forth the evil of it. Yet since then several 
other widows have been remarried. There is an agency 
established in the city to give employment to young widows ; 
by sewing and embroidery they earn their own living and 
become independent. When I visited it, I found the wise 

Women and New Movements in India I23 

plan in force, that the widows were paid in kind, in so many 
handfuls of rice, which they carried away to add to the family 
supply wherever they lived. This freedom for widows is 
one of the new movements, indeed, and it affects all parts of 
India. But such results are not easily accomplished. 

Welfare Work 

The last movement which I shall mention is welfare 
work — one that is new and wholly constructive. Govern- 
ment has now a large number of village centres in the 
Punjab and elsewhere. The Army has forty centres for 
the families of the Indian soldier, and only one of these is 
four years old. It is work which has boundless influence. 
In the hospitals we meet only those who come to us, but in 
welfare work, because the workers, Indian or British, live 
in the villages and towns, and enter the homes of the people, 
they reach the heart of India. They have endless scope 
for teaching the women health and hygiene, the prevention 
of disease, the evils of child marriage. 

The chief obstacle to the rapid progress of this movement 
is the difficulty in getting a sufficient supply of trained 
Indian welfare workers, women willing and brave enough 
to face the isolated and independent life still so foreign to 
Indian womanhood. Several training centres now exist to 
supply this demand ; and the head of the Government wel- 
fare school at Lahore recently wrote to me saying : “We 
are always being asked for Christian welfare workers, and 
certainly we get by far the best results from them.” 

I wish to speak of two reports which have reached me 
in the last week only because they illustrate what I feel 
strongly — that in welfare work we have the most effective 
instrument for the practical abolition of child-marriage. 
I have used the somewhat vague term “ propaganda ” as 
being essential to this end. Welfare is organized construc- 
tive propaganda. 

This work in and around Hyderabad, Sind, was started 
by two Englishwomen who realized that most of India’s 

1 24 Women and New Movements in India 

population live in villages, and that though much is being 
done in the great cities in the way of medical alleviation, 
the rural population are to a great extent unaided. They 
organized a travelling welfare scheme. From their 
centre qualified travelling Indian teachers visit the large 
villages, staying two to six months at a time. Boys’ and 
girls’ schools are visited by the welfare teachers, and open- 
air meetings are arranged for the men, sometimes with the 
helpful support of the Collector or Deputy Commissioner. 
Lectures with lantern slides are arranged for purdah women. 
They found pictures were the best teachers, for of the first 
thousand village women who attended only two could read. 
“We cannot,” they said, “do without the indigenous dais" 
(the Indian untrained maternity attendants), “ so let us take 
the material we have and improve it.” Dais, therefore, 
are invited, and given elementary practical knowledge of 
their work. 

A leading doctor in India recently stated : “If I were 
asked to name the most essential national service in the 
country, I should without doubt say the maternity service. 
The country’s well-being depends as much on the members 
of its midwifery service as it does on any other section 
of the community.” 

The practical result of this welfare scheme, under the 
mission but financially assisted by Government, is that 
where in that area five years ago the maternal mortality 
was one mother in eight, it is now reduced to one in eighty- 
eight. The further result is that the men are aroused from 
their apathy, the women begin to realize that most of the 
mortality and half the suffering which has in the past been 
considered inevitable is entirely unnecessary ; and the dais, 
realizing that their livelihood is not to be taken away from 
them, are becoming friendly and desirous of better results 
in their work. They receive elementary training, and they 
and the women they attend together learn to desire health 
and cleanliness, the right care of their children, and to see 
the folly and bad results of child-marriage. 

Women and New Movements in India 125 

That leads on to the next step, when the villages ask for 
trained dais, and the dais themselves are willing to come 
in to the centre and take a fuller course of training. Sixty 
were improved last year, and have returned to their village 
areas, while ninety-two are now under the dais improve- 
ment scheme in training. 

This work is far less expensive to run than are hospitals, 
and welfare workers to support than doctors: therefore it 
can be done on a far larger scale and its results are equally 
far-reaching, for as the old adage truly says, “ Prevention 
is better than cure.” 

The other report tells of a health campaign, sent out 
as constructive propaganda from another welfare centre. 
The workers, among them the staff of a boys’ school, 
realized the thing was to do the job as well as try to 
educate the villagers by leaflets and lantern lectures. Some 
formed an anti-malarial society, and they cut jungle and 
sprayed stagnant pools with oil, and did real hard work in 
the mornings for one week. Each afternoon a procession 
was formed, carrying posters, to parade the village. This 
collected the people, and then in the evening the boys 
performed a play, including songs on mosquito killing, the 
mosquito being the demon that ravished the poor. This 
spectacular effort, and the lectures to the women on mother- 
hood, led to the desire for a permament welfare centre to 
be opened in that district, the villages offering to raise the 
salary for a trained woman. 

Is it too much to hope that through this valuable new 
movement known as welfare work our poor, insanitary, 
ignorant villages shall become transformed into hamlets of 
light, and knowledge, and health 1 

One illustration I would mention from my own experience. 
In the small cantonment of Jhelum maternal mortality was 
heavy before the establishment of a welfare centre, owing to 
the total lack of training of the dais from the city, the only 
women ever called in to attend cases in the regimental lines. 
After opening our welfare centre, a year and a half ago, with 


Women and New Movements in India 

an excellent trained Indian nurse in charge, we had in the 
next nine months thirty-five maternity cases without losing 
a mother or a child. “ They care for our women,” say the 
rank and file. Welfare work in India is still in its infancy ; 
but if organized and developed, is full of untold possibilities, 
and affords unique opportunities for educating the 90 per 
cent, of the women of India. 

It is on such constructive movements for the advance- 
ment, both social and moral, of the women that the new 
national life of India must be built. 

The Part of British Women 

What of British women resident in India ? How do 
these changes affect them ? I do not mean those pro- 
fessional women who have gone to India in the educational 
or medical services. Government or mission. They pre- 
sumably have gone to India because they want to serve 
India. I am thinking of the wives and relations of official 
and non-official Europeans, who form by far the larger 
proportion of Western women in India. Many are up- 
holding the traditions of the Empire, and, perhaps especially 
those in the Indian Civil Service, are facing difficulties 
which changing India brings. 

I am convinced, however, that the women of Northern 
India were never so open to friendship as they are to- 
day, and at the same time that we British women are 
hardly touching the opportunities thus offered. Though 
closely connected with the Indian Army myself, perhaps 
because of that, I fear I must own that British women 
in the Army especially do not learn the language or 
care to go among the people ; and yet they could do 
Empire service, for India wants the simple, genuine, un- 
assuming friendship of the women of the West. The 
opportunities of British women in India today are boundless 
if they would but use them. The lack of intercourse among 
women is most apparent among the martial classes. 

So strongly do I feel this, that I want to speak of it very 

Women and New Movements in India 127 

seriously. A British officer may and does know his men 
thoroughly, but he cannot know or gauge the influences 
brought to bear upon them from behind the purdah. Here 
is the sphere of the British officer’s wife, if only she would 
enter it. Acting on a suggestion of mine, a colonel’s wife, 
tired of India after many years of it, set to work with a 
munshi to study not merely Urdu but Punjabi, so that she 
could make acquaintance with the wives of the Indian 
officers and sepoys of her husband’s regiment. Two years 
later, when we again met, she said : “ India has become a 
different place to me.” 

Means of Contact 

How can the British woman express her friendship in a 
practical way ? In five ways in particular : through purdah 
parties, clubs, women’s institutes, tours in the villages, 
and welfare work. Such institutions are easy to start 
now, because the women want them. A few years ago 
purdah parties were organized in Peshawar, at which 
Indian and British women of the Army met. So great 
was the keenness to get invitations to these parties that 
Indian officers would write to me from stations miles 
away promising to hire motors to send their wives in 
if only they might be invited. Purdah parties can easily 
be utilized for spreading useful knowledge as well as for 
recreation, since the women are full of questions about 
and interest in everything they see. Another very real 
advantage is that such parties bring together women of 
different religious communities who would not otherwise 
mix. For instance, when I started these gatherings in 
Peshawar, I found the Hindu, Mussulman, and Sikh Indian 
officers’ wives, though of the same regiment, did not know 
each other. It was at first an experiment to invite them 
all together, but it proved a most successful one. At first 
they sat apart in groups — and of course I had all their 
food and refreshments arranged separately. Later they met 
and mixed ; and before I left India, at a farewell party 


Women and New Movements in India 

given by a Sikh Indian officer’s wife, the Mussulman and 
Hindu Indian officers’ wives were all present at her house 
by her own invitation. I felt in this way a real, though 
a small, advance had been made towards national unity. 

This also applies to big ceremonial parades, gymkhanas, 
hockey tournaments, and other festivities, from which 
the purdah women of the Army, though they live in the 
lines close by, are completely debarred. This seemed 
to me unfair, so in Jhelum, with the brigadier’s permission, 
purdah tents have been arranged on the parade ground 
during the last two years, so that the women should see 
and, as far as possible, share in various celebrations. Over 
200 women and another too girls and children came on 
January i this year to watch the big Proclamation Parade. 
This was a very large number for such a small station, and 
until this scheme was organized, not one of those women 
whose husbands were in the army had ever before seen a 
parade. Their interest, excitement, and delight showed 
appreciation, and — and this is important — their men were 
equally pleased and enthusiastic for them. 

Tours also may do much. Five years ago, when visiting 
villages in the Punjab, it was realized that whatever the 
political atmosphere, almost invariably marked friendliness 
was shown towards individuals by the people they visited. 
I had a very warm welcome from every house I was 
able to visit, chiefly through a sufficient knowledge of the 
language. My medicine chest was also in great demand. 
I think of a village where on arrival we knew no one, but 
where an Indian officer came out and asked if I would go 
and see his young wife who was ill. Having been able to 
do something for her, I was then taken to six other houses 
to see different sick folk ; and though I could do little for 
the chronic cases, such small efforts won the friendship 
of the village— in fact, the entire village sat around our 
tents till dark. 

These gratifying experiences were in villages far from 
the beaten track, but I found the same desire for friendship 

Women and Neva Movements in India 129 

in the regimental lines of cantonments. When I went to 
say goodbye to the women of the ranks in Jhelum, they 
poured out of their little purdah houses in the lines, begging 
me to find them a friend before I left — some memsahib 
who would visit them and take an interest in them. But 
this was hard to find : indeed, I have discovered even 
Indian officers’ wives, living within a stone’s-throw of the 
bungalows of British officers’ wives of the same regiment, 
who had never been visited, and in some cases had never 
seen a white woman. 

Welfare work, such as I have already mentioned, furnishes 
a vast field of activity for British women, and one which is, 
perhaps, more needed than any other, and more influential. 
“We do not want more Services in India,” said an Indian 
lady in London recently. But surely we do want more ser- 
vice. Any period of change is marked by two outstanding 
characteristics. Firstly, it is full of dangerous possibilities ; 
and secondly, of unique opportunities. Since we women 
of the West owe our freedom and all that makes life worth 
while, not to civilization (for India has an older civilization 
than ours) but to a religion which came to us from the 
East, let us pay our debt to the East in service, remem- 
bering, as the Toe H ceremonial words it: “What is 
service ? The rent that we pay for our room on the earth.” 




Wvmen and New Movements in India 


A MEETING of the Association was held at Caxton Hall, Westminster, 
S.W. I, on Monday, December 9, 1929, at which a paper was read by 
Mrs. L. A. Underhill (formerly Mrs. Starr of Peshawar) on “ Women and 
New Movements in India.” Dr. Drummond Shiels, m.c., m.p., was in the 
chair, and the following, amongst others, were present : The Right Hon. 
Lord Lamington,, g.c.i.e.. The Right Hon. the Earl of Mayo, 
and the Countess of Mayo, Sir William Louis Dane, g.c.i.e., c.s.i., 
and Lady Dane, Sir William and Lady Ovens Clark, Sir Basanta Kumar 
Mullick, General Sir George Barrow, g.c.b., k.c.m.g.. Sir James Walker, 
K.C.I.E., and Lady Walker, Sir John Maynard,, c.s.i.. Sir James 
MacKenna, c.i.e., and Lady MacKenna, Lady Chatterjee, Lady Barrow, 
Lady Jacob, Lady Blackett, Lady Eckstein, Lady Chatterton, Lady 
Scott Moncrieff, Lady Procter, Lady Hartog, Lady French, Mrs. 
Drummond Shiels, Mrs. Mrinalini Sen, Mrs. Rama Rau, Mrs. Chakravarti, 
Mr. Henry Marsh, c.i.e., and Miss Marsh, Dr. R. P. Paranjpye, Mr. 

F. J P. Richter, Mrs. Nolan, Colonel and Mrs. A S. Roberts, Mr. Sunder 
Kabadi, Mrs, T. Bhada, Mr. Fyzee Rahamin and the Atiya Begum Fyzee 
Rahamin, Mr. O. C. G. Hayter, Major and Mrs. Gilbertson, Miss Gilbert- 
son, Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Byramji, Dr. A. Shah, Mrs. and Miss Donning, 
Mrs. Humbert Wolfe and Miss Wolfe, Miss Corfield, Mr. and Mrs. Mont- 
gomerie, Mr. J. C. Witherby, Mr. V. S. Ram, Mr. H. Harcourt, c.b.E., 
Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Westbrook, Mr. Scott Bremner, Mr. G. B. Coleman, 
Mr. R. D. Pringle, the Rev. George Hicks, Mr. Qadir Khan, Professor 

G. C. Bhate, Miss Curteis, Mrs. Nolan, Mrs. Martley, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. 
Lindsay, Mr. George Pilcher, Mr. Harihar Das, Mrs. Webster, Mrs. H. M. 
Gibbs, Mrs. Daly, Miss Beck, Miss Rudd, Mr. and Mrs. Dent, Mrs. 
Donald, Mrs. Kitchin, Mrs. C. H. Bompas, c.s.i.. Dr. Gilbert Slater, and 
Mr. F. H. Brown, ci.e., Hon. Secretary. 

The Chairman : I take it that I was asked to preside at this meeting 
because of the position which I occupied as Under-Secretary of State for 
India, and, although I have not now the privilege of occupying that 
position, your Association has been good enough to allow the arrangement 
made to stand. They realize, I think, that when one has become interested 
in India and has come to love her people no change of location or of 
occupation can affect the bond thus established. (Applause.) I am 
happy to be here this afternoon to identify myself once more with India 
and her problems and to show my appreciation of the efforts of the East 
India Association to maintain an important link between Great Britain 
and India. If anything more was wanted to make me happy to be here. 
It IS to be found in the person of the lecturer and in her subject. Mrs! 
Underhill, then Mrs. Starr of the Peshawar Medical Mission, thrilled the 
world in April, 1923, with a great feat of bravery and diplomacy. 
(Applause.) Miss Elhs, aged seventeen, was carried off into the wild 

Women and New Movements in India 131 

borderland territory of the Tirah by a gang of tribesmen who had 
previously killed her mother. Knowing the tribesmen and their language, 
and having given medical help to some of them, Mrs. Underhill was asked 
by the Chief Commissioner to go thirty miles into that dangerous country 
to intercede for the return of this girl who had been carried off. She 
succeeded in her quest and restored Miss Ellis to her distracted father. 
Probably no one else could have done this without bloodshed. Mrs. 
Underhill had earned the respect of the tribesmen both by reason of her 
obvious courage and through the practice of her mission of healing. For 
her services she was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal and Their 
Majesties the King and Queen sent her a special personal message. Like 
all heroines, Mrs. Underhill is modest, and I will spare her blushes by 
refraining from further comment on her action, which in any case needs 
no embellishment. Not only is she of great interest to us for herself, but 
she is going to speak to us about one of the important subjects in con- 
nection with India. In her nearly twenty years in that great country she 
has seen and helped all sections of the people in different parts of the 
country. She has special knowledge of what the women of India are 
thinking of and hoping for today, and she has that sympathy and psycho- 
logical insight which give understanding. I will defer any remarks which 
I have to make on the subject proper until after the lecture. 

The lecturer then read her paper. 

Mrs. Mrinahni Sen : I must thank Mrs. Underhill for her interesting 
paper on “ Women and New Movements in India.” I feel it has been 
written from an excellent motive. During the last two years we have been 
constantly hearing discussions and criticisms about us by some people in 
this country. The educated Indian women — not only the few who are in 
temporary residence here, but every one of the great number in different 
parts of India as well — think they have had enough of these discussions. 
Our uneducated sisters are, however, blissfully ignorant of the indignities 
often cast upon them by the outside world. Had they known it, I am 
sure they would not have been pleased about it either. 

But we are all very grateful to the British men and women who work 
for our real welfare as Mrs. Underhill has done in the part of India she 
has spoken of. I am sorry she does not know the provinces where Indian 
women are doing social welfare works. The Punjab and the Frontier 
provinces do not make the whole of India. Even in the Punjab the 
number of educated women is increasing every year. I have known 
some quite highly educated women from the Punjab who have public 
interests at heart. 

In Bengal, Bombay, Madras, and some other provinces, many Indian 
women’s institutions for various social and educational works have been in 
existence for some years. In Bengal, Maharani Sunity Devi of Gooch Behar 
and Maharani Sucharu Devi of Maurbhanj, both of them daughters of 
Keshub Chandra Sen, the great reformer, and Mrs. P. K. Roy and her 
sister, Lady Jagadis Bose (the wife of the eminent scientist), are amongst 
the prominent workers, and their work of thirty years or more is bearing 


Women and New Movements in India 

golden fruits for our young women, and has made their field of work 
much easier to work in than it would have been otherwise. 

Hindu widow marriage was not illegal in the olden time. Some fifty 
years ago this was proved by a great Brahmin pundit in Bengal, and 
through his efforts such unions were validated. We have had many 
widows remarried since then. I myself was a Hindu widow once upon 
a time and observed a strict purdah. And although I am now married to 
a Brahmo, I am not looked down upon by my Hindu relations. 

The purdah is not essential for Hindu women. In Bombay and 
Madras there never has been any purdah. As regards tuberculosis, I my- 
self think it is not really due to purdah, but certainly to bad housing and 
overcrowding. One can observe purdah and yet can live in healthy 
houses. In Calcutta in recent years there has been a great increase of 
tuberculosis cases ; but it is mainly amongst the poorer classes ’iving in 
bad localities and crowded areas. The women of these classes do not 
observe purdah and work for their own living. 

In England also tuberculosis is prevalent more in crowded towns than 
in villages. I am not a doctor, so I do not want to pass a definite 
opinion on the cause of it. But I hope with the spread of education 
people in time will learn how to live healthy lives. 

I am glad child marriage has been made illegal now. Some time ago a 
Bill for its abolition was thrown out by the votes of the Government party. 
It was a great evil, but in ancient books we never read about this custom. 
Women used to choose their own husbands when they were grown up. 
You can find this in some Sanskrit dramas and epic poems. 

Amongst some high caste Hindus women always married late. And 
the members of Brahmo Somaj, Prarthana Somaj, Ariya Somaj, and Shikh 
communities do not marry their daughters young. 

The Brahmo Somaj abolished caste, purdah, and child marriage some 
seventy or eighty years ago. Its founder. Raja Ram Mohun Roy, intro- 
duced many social reforms over a century ago. My father-in-law, Keshub 
Chunder Sen, followed in his footsteps and added new impetus to the cause. 
In “ The Heart of Aryavarta,” written by the present Lord Zetland 
when he was Lord Ronaldshay, many pages have been written on the 
admirable work and the great personality of my father-in-law. 

We have many bands of men and women working now in our province. 
I was quite struck with their activities when I recently visited India. 
I was very kindly asked to be the Indian vice-president of the Bengal 
Presidency Council of Women. Lady Jackson was the president. Many 
Indian and English women were on the committee, and took much 
interest in various welfare works done by the several organizations 
affiliated to this Council. 

We have a number of women doctors and teachers doing hard work 
there ; but we have by no means enough women workers yet. It will take 
many years to balance the supply and demand. Even in this country, 
during my sixteen years’ stay here, I have noticed there are not enough 
helpers. You still have here a colossal amount of work to tackle. 

Women and New Movements in India 


Look at your unemployment problem ; look at the housing question ; 
look at the struggling of the working-class women for better pay and more 
privileges ; and look at the unmarried mothers* problem. 

We all have our own problems, and I think they can be solved better 
by ourselves than by other people. But if some of you who are in India 
give us a helping hand with a spirit of fellow feeling, we shall always accept 
it with much appreciation. After all, one always is bound to take a little 
interest in the country one lives in for a length of time, as it almost 
becomes like a second home to one. But very few British women know 
India or Indians well, even when they spend the best part of their lives 

As regards the ignorance of the uneducated women of India regarding 
their ideas about the lands and seas they have not visited, I can only say 
that some Englishwomen are just as ignorant about us and India. I was 
once asked by one of them if I was a Red Indian, and another time if the 
Himalayas were as big as the Scottish mountains. It is very diflScult 
to visualize a thing one has not seen. To those who cannot travel, the 
vastness of the sea and the grandeur of the Himalayas must remain 

We often suffer from many ignorances, and the worst of it is when we 
do not realize that there is really and truly one God and we are all one in 

Mrs. Rama Rau said she had listened with great interest to Mrs. 
Underhill’s address. She felt very encouraged to hear that Mrs. Under- 
hill had detected a spirit of enquiry and desire amongst the uneducated 
women in India. This was what all those who were helping with the 
women’s movement in India earnestly wished to see. Nothing could be 
more disheartening than apathy and a spirit of indifference amongst them. 
The object of the women’s movement was to wake them up, and if Mrs. 
Underhill, an outsider, felt that they were awakening, it certainly was a 
sign of success. With regard to purdah, the wealthy lady of whom the 
lecturer had spoken was surely an exception. Behind the purdah amongst 
the wealthy they would certainly find a large amount of culture and 
civilization ; in fact, a wealthy purdah lady could even give one a very 
correct appreciation of the fashions of women’s clothes in England from 
season to season, and she could easily tell one the difference between 
georgette and crepe-de-chine. (Laughter and cheers.) The trouble was 
not that there was no culture and civilization behind the purdah, but that 
there was no sense of civic responsibility, and it was the desire of all 
connected with the women’s movement to awaken that sense of 

With regard to the question of child marriages, she wished to correct one 
statement which had been made by the lecturer. Up to the present there 
was no law at all with regard to the age of marriage in India. The 
lecturer was evidently referring to the age of consent law, which had been 
raised to thirteen four years ago. When carrying out their propaganda 
work with regard to the fixing of the age for marriage, it had been pointed 


Women and New Movements in India 

out that, though the age of consent had been 6xed by law, yet if there was 
no age fixed for marriage it was the easiest thing in the world for the age 
of consent law to be broken every day and cases not to be reported, as they 
should be. 

With regard to child motherhood, she was aware there had been such 
cases, but there had not been so many as was popularly supposed. A very 
well-known doctor, Miss MacPhail, who had served in the Province of 
Madras for forty years, had stated that in her experience of maternity work 
in the Presidency she had only had to deal with four cases of maternity at 
the age of twelve years. Personally she maintained that those doctors who 
had attended maternity cases under twelve years of age had failed in their 
duty if they had not brought those cases to the notice of the police, because 
when there was a law in the country, it was the duty of those doctors to 
bring to the notice of the proper authorities cases of offence. Social reform 
work was being carried out with great intensity, and she thought there was 
no reason to be pessimistic about the matter. If only the Government 
would work in co-operation with the different schemes which had been 
proposed in the Age of Consent Committee’s Report, she had no doubt 
that the matter could be successfully dealt with. 

With regard to the question of widows, the accounts of the institutions 
for widows were very encouraging. The fact that 500 widows were being 
remarried every month showed that social reformers were tackling the 
widow problem with great success. 

In conclusion, she thought that the past tense should be used when 
talking about the greatness of India’s civilization. Since then, changing 
conditions had caused considerable deterioration, but it was the ambition 
of all educated India to build up once more and achieve something of the 
greatness of the past in the near future. 

Lady Hartog said she had listened with very great interest to Mrs. 
Underhill’s paper and to the remarks of Mrs. Sen and Mrs. Rama Rau, 
She fully agreed with Mrs. Underhill that there never was a time when 
there was a greater opportunity for service for British women in India 
than the present. The Indian women’s movement had developed in 
a wonderful way during the past few years, but those working in connection 
with the movement realized how great were the problems that lay in front 
of them, and would welcome all the help and co-operation which their 
Western sisters were willing and able to give them. 

She also agreed with Mrs. Underhill that British women were not doing 
their share, apart from professional women and missionaries. On the 
other hand, it was only fair to point out some of the reasons for the lack of 
response to the call for service on the part of the wives of British officials 
and Army officers. In the first place, there was the constant possibility of 
transfer. A woman felt that it was hardly worth while getting interested 
in a particular piece of work when probably she might not be staying 
in the place where she was for more than a few months. Further, many 
British women went to the hills in the hot weather, which would mean 
a very serious break in their work. Then there was the language diffi- 

Women and New Movements in India 


culty. It required a good deal of hard work and enthusiasm to tackle 
a new language seriously, and in India it was fatally easy to get along 
quite well for years knowing but a few words of the vernacular. There 
was also ignorance of the help that was wanted, and there was the feeling 
of diffidence owing to lack of training. However, she felt that all the 
difficulties she had mentioned could be readily overcome by goodwill, and 
that it was specially important at the present time to impress upon British 
women going to India for the first time how much real help they could 
give, and try to make them realize the call for service. 

In 1921-22 in Dacca, when, largely through the efforts of Mr. Lindsay, 
a maternity and infant welfare centre was established, they had an arrange- 
ment that voluntary helpers should go out in pairs health visiting, an 
Indian and an Englishwoman going together. That overcame the diffi- 
culty of the language for the Englishwoman, and there were many Indian 
women who did not care to go alone, so that they found it a very satisfac- 
tory arrangement. If an Englishwoman really desired to tackle the 
language she would experience no difficulty in finding an Indian friend 
who would give her the necessary instruction. As for the kind of work 
required, there had grown up with the development of the women’s move- 
ment large organizations from which one could obtain information and 
advice. There was the Women’s Indian Association, which had been 
started in Madras, but which now had branches in many parts of the 
country ; there was the National Council of Women of India, which had 
local councils in Bombay, Bengal, Behar, Burma, and Delhi. There was 
also the All-India Women’s Conference, which had stirred the imagination 
and had roused the enthusiasm of women of all classes all over India, and 
had members of its standing committees in many centres. 

The lecturer had the advantage of trained and professional knowledge, 
but even the ordinary woman with no special training could undertake 
many kinds of voluntary work, some of which had been mentioned — 
namely, work in connection with maternity and infant welfare centres and 
girl guides. She would have added also work for adult women. It mat- 
tered not what kind of association they worked for, whether it was of the 
women’s institute type or a purdah club, whether it was for women of 
some education or for illiterate women : there was room for every kind of 
effort. There was also the visiting of schools, especially in the smaller 
towns, where there was very little outside interest, and trying to cultivate 
some tradition of social service, if it were only by suggesting that the girls 
should get up some sort of entertainment or collect gifts for poorer chil- 
dren. Anything of that kind would be a great help. There was also the 
visiting of orphanages, of widows’ homes and hospitals, and in the case of 
widows’ homes urging that if there was no training available it should be 
provided, because there was such a great demand for trained workers of 
every sort, as teachers, nurses, and midwives. 

Many of her happiest recollections of India were of the hours she had 
spent in doing social work in collaboration with Indian friends, and she 
would never forget the extraordinary kindness and generous friendship she 

136 Women and New Movements in India 

had always received, which was in no way exceptional, but was the ex- 
perience of every British woman who took up social work in India with 
sympathy and understanding. 

Atiya Begum said she disagreed with many of Mrs. Underhill’s remarks. 
In describing the wealthy purdah lady whom she had visited, she represented 
Indian women in a caricaturist form. If she had discussed with that lady 
any question on metaphysical matters and things which occurred in this 
life and the life beyond, she would have been staggered probably by the 
wealth of knowledge possessed by that lady. It was too much the practice 
of Westerners to state things superficially and only to look at things in a 
very narrow way. In her opinion, Mrs. Underhill did not understand the 
psychology of India in any way. Lady Hartog had referred to the language 
difficulty, but that was a lame excuse for not undertaking the work, as also 
was the practice of going up to the hills. Going to the hills or to England 
did not prevent Indian women from doing good, solid work. 

Although the thing which was going to be of most help to India was 
education, if one went to the Education Department one was told that it 
was a transferred subject ; if one \fent to the City Corporation officials one 
was told it was a Government matter. But the time was coming when 
those difficulties would have to be remedied. If the British did not help 
Indian women, they would help themselves. They wanted status and 
position in order that they might work for the education and reforms of the 
women of India. She had come to this country to complain bitterly of 
our defective system of education, and the Government said : “ We cannot 
do anything for you. You must go to your Legislatures.” When she 
went to the Legislatures she was told : “ We want to get the English out 
of India, and when we have done that we will attend to these matters !” 
One was thrown like a cricket-ball from one place to another, and con- 
ditions remained the same. There could not possibly be any reforms, 
religious, national, or social, until the “ source of evils ” was removed by 
the appointment of responsible, honest, and capable lady educationists to 
control female education in its foundation. Sound cultural, industrial, 
and vocational training institutions should be founded in the whole 
length and breadth of the country. Delay was not due to lack of funds, 
for much money was wasted. A drastic reorganization and remodelling 
was strongly needed. No social reform would be effective until and unless 
the system of education was changed. 

Mrs. Webster said when it was remembered that 90 per cent, of the 
Indian women could neither read nor write it would be realized that there 
was room for British and Indian women alike to show their goodwill in 
every way in their power with regard to every form of service, and to 
co-operate together for the good of India. Her reason for addressing the 
meeting was that she was the daughter of that distinguished woman of 
letters. Flora Annie Steel. Her mother was the wife of a British official 
who went to India fifty years ago. If anyone asked her mother what gave 
her her astonishingly intimate knowledge of Indian life, she always replied 
in one word, “ Kasur. Kasur was a small subdivision near Lahore. 

Women and New Movements in India 


Three and a half years after her mother went to India her father, who was 
in the Indian Civil Service, was appointed to that place, and, there being no 
European people in the district, she had set herself to make friends with 
the people there. Almost every branch of social service that has been 
since carried on — medical work among both village women and purdah 
ladies, infant welfare, female schools — was instituted by Mrs. Steel in 
Kasur fifty years ago. In return she gained the trust, gratitude, and 
affection of all classes of the people. And the way was the same now as it 
was then. As Mrs. Underhill had said in her address, first of all came the 
study of the language, next came service, then the great reward of friendship. 

Mrs. Chakravarti said they had heard much about what British 
women were doing in India, and she would like to mention what Indian 
women were doing in India in the way of social and educational reform. 
The causes of women’s awakening and rapid progress in social reform 
within the past ten or twelve years had been, in the first place, Western 
influence, especially the suffrage movement, which was an inspiration to 
women in India. Secondly, there was the Reform Act of 19191 which had 
left the question of the giving of votes to Indian women in the hands of 
men, but one by one every Provincial Legislature had conferred the vote 
on women on the same basis as on men, the qualification for both men and 
women being education, tax, and property. There had been very little 
opposition on the part of the men in that matter. 

With regard to the work of the various women’s organizations through- 
out India on the question of educational reform, first of all there was the 
Woman’s Indian Association, with its eighty branches, which was formed 
in 1917 for the purpose of carrying on propaganda in various directions, 
such as the prevention of child marriage and child maternity, teaching 
women civic responsibilities, and securing votes for women in both the 
municipal and the legislative councils, and the right to enter those 
councils as members. Then there was the All-India Women’s Educa- 
tional Conference, with its thirty-two constituent Provincial Conferences, 
based on linguistic discussions. Some of those constituent Conferences 
were held also in capitals of Indian States. There was the All-India Social 
Conference for both men and women, at which one day was reserved 
for purely women’s problems, appertaining to the purdah system, widows’ 
homes, or Seva Sadan. There was also the Servants of India Society, 
which was a missionary society which was working towards religious reform 
as well as the doing away with caste and meaningless superstitions. The 
result of all that work had been an increase in widows’ marriages. There 
had been an Act some years ago legalizing the re-marriage of widows. The 
Age of Marriage Bill, which had been passed a few months ago, made the 
lowest marriage ages fourteen for girls and eighteen for boys. Indian 
women now had the power to vote, and also the right to sit on the various 
legislative and municipal bodies. They had now women magistrates, 
barristers, doctors, nurses and teachers, and women sat on four different 
legislatures — namely, Madras, the Central Provinces, and the Punjab. 
Their latest triumph was the appointment of Miss Sirajudin in the Punjab 

138 Women and New Movements in India 

Government as Deputy Director of Industries, and she was doing a great 
deal to improve the conditions of the women in the villages. 

Mrs. Underhill writes in amplification of her oral reply : I spoke 
almost entirely of Northern India for two reasons ; 

( 1 ) I know the North, and I believe in speaking of what one knows only. 
There is little fear we shall be tempted to think the North is the whole of 
India, but rather we have to realize that the expression of the mind of 
Madras or Bengal is not necessarily representative of the mind of the 
Punjab or of India generally. Because we of the West hear so much of 
and from Madras, Bombay and Bengal, it is well the north should some- 
times be represented. 

(2) Because I was speaking of the North I had to speak of purdah. We 
are all aware it is not a practice of the South. I in no way suggested that 
behind the purdah there was not “culture and civilization.” Such a 
thought never occurred to me. But there is little knowledge of the world 
outside with its thousand interests, no interests outside the home and the 
neighbours, no possibility of rejoicing in nature and science and travel, 
but a very limited opportunity to form friendships at will, and no real free- 
dom of mind and body which is life to the woman of the West. I only 
wish the case of the wealthy purdah lady 1 mentioned was as exceptional 
as it seems. 

One speaker referred to “an undercurrent of feeling in India of which 
we Westerners had no idea.” Was it not that very thing of which I spoke, 
but I called it “a spirit of desire which could be felt throughout India.” 
I still prefer the latter term. It is because I realize our responsibility 
towards India, and for that very reason, that I spoke as I did of the work 
British women in India might do, and appealed to them to learn to know 
and serve India. 

Another speaker refers to a doctor in India who in her forty years' service 
has had to deal with but four cases of motherhood at twelve. That may 
be so. Examples may be found to uphold almost any statement. I have 
known and worked with women doctors of very diverse opinions. Let me 
quote only the statement of Mrs. S. Muthulakshmi Reddi, an Indian lady 
and a doctor, herself on the Age of Consent Committee and well known 
for her social service. She speaks of having herself taken more than a 
thousand confinements in which the mothers were immature. The 
allegation is frequently urged upon us of the West that “ the Hindu child 
marriage is a betrothal ceremony only ; consummation is deferred until a 
safe age”; and yet another Indian doctor. Dr. N. S. Phadke, tells us, 

Premature consummation follows early marriage with an inevitable 
sequence, and conception follows with equally inevitable sequence.” 

We who know India are tired of statements to the effect that these 
evils hardly exist, for we have seen child-motherhood, and know that it is 
far too common. It is not a question of age alone ; the fact remains that 
early marriage generally means too early motherhood. 

Would it not be better, instead of understating facts, to face them and 
together to seek ways to enforce the Bill now passed, until child-marriage 

Women and New Movements in India 


becomes an impossibility ? Throughout the debate it was to be regretted 
that there was not a single constructive suggestion on a point on which I 
had hoped for the opinions of the Indian ladies present — namely, the 
enforcing of the new law raising the marriage age. We were told of the 
apathy of the uneducated women. We would like to know how those who 
have worked so keenly and devotedly for the passing of the Bill now intend 
to carry it into effect. 

The conditions of life of the women of the villages of India are what 
need to be taken in hand urgently. 

While heartily congratulating the speakers on the work — welfare and 
other — being done by Indian ladies in Madras, Bengal, etc., and realizing 
the extended need for it here in England, let us remind ourselves again of 
facts : That there are just under 40,000 welfare workers alone in this 
little country for a female population of approximately 25,000,000, while 
in India there are some hundreds — nowhere near a thousand — trained and 
in training, welfare workers for a female population of approximately 
150,000,000. It is because we are finding welfare so satisfactory in 
Britain that we long to see such a service amplified in India to meet that 
country’s infinitely greater needs. 

Do not think we have any intention of belittling all that Indian women 
are doing. Rather the bare fact is that, compared with the size, the 
numbers, the means, and the needs of your great Hindu India, such 
efforts are still so few, so slight, so small in scope and effect, that we must 
keep before our vision the vastness of the task and all that remains to 
be done. 

We share in the wish of the Chairman that the dynamic force and 
influence let loose in political matters, and in comparisons and criticisms 
that lead nowhere, might be put into social and healthy service, not from 
England, but by our Indian friends in the teeming villages of their own 
land. Let me beg you to believe that we women who know and love 
India desire most truly to share your plans and endeavours to adjust the 
social problems confronting us and you in India. 

Sir Basanta K. Mullick proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the lecturer 
and the Chairman, which was carried by acclamation. 

The Chairman : I should like to say how pleased I am that we 
have had such a splendid audience here today for the discussion of this 
subject. I noticed, in the speeches of some of the Indian ladies, a certain 
sensitiveness about having these things discussed here, and I can quite 
sympathize with feeling. At the same time, I believe from my own 
experience that, if help and encouragement are offered in the right spirit, 
and without any element of patronage, they are very gratefully accepted by 
our Indian friends. I was rather amused at Mrs. Sen’s tu quoque ! in her 
reference to our unemployment problem and other difficulties. It is quite 
true that we have a great many problems here, and if our Indian friends 
can help us to solve one of the most urgent, I think I may say, on behalf 
of my colleague Mr. J. H. Thomas, that we shall be very glad to have 
their help. There are difficulties and problems in every country in the 


Women and New Movements in India 

world, so that there is no need for anybody to be sensitive, or for any 
people to be self-righteous. 

India being a great country, containing several hundred millions of 
people, the problems which obtain there are necessarily correspondingly 
great, and no possible help can or should be despised. The work of the 
welfare staffs in educating Indian midwives by giving them a few simple 
lessons in hygiene will make a tremendous difference in the maternal 
mortality rates. I think that is the better way to deal with this problem, 
rather than to attempt to drive these women out of employment. Mrs. 
Rama Rau spoke about the apathy of Indian women, and I was interested 
to hear that she considered them conservative. It is true, I think, and 
may be an unfortunate thing, in some ways, that women — of all races — are 
more conservative than men, but it is a good thing in other ways, because 
women are the conservers of the traditions of the race and hand on much 
that makes for permanence and stability. So long as they only hold fast 
to that which is good and help us to clear away what is bad we cannot 
object, because that is a good kind of conservatism. In this country the 
women are not so conservative as they were, and I hope it will soon be 
true to say of India that her women are wisely progressive. 

The general optimism of Mrs. Rama Rau gave me great pleasure. 
There are many problems in India, and the people who are pessimistic are 
not the people who will be helpful in solving them. There is every reason 
for optimism ! I should like, in conclusion, to emphasize the importance 
of the medical and health work in India. It is not for me to say a word 
against politics or politicians. They are necessary and, I hope, useful 
people, but one does feel that if some of the dynamic force which is 
exerted on political work in India could also influence the social and health 
sphere it would make a tremendous difference to many who are not so 
happy as they should and might be. It is possible for political develop- 
ment to go on pari passu with enthusiasm and interest in social service, 
and I hope this will be realized. In conclusion, I should like to express 
my own gratitude to Mrs. Underhill for her address this afternoon. 



The Asian Circle is conducted by a group with personal 
knowledge of the various parts of Asia, and through the 
collective experience of its members aims at giving to the 
public an informed, progressive, and disinterested view of 
Asian affairs, both in detail and as a whole. 

It is understood that where articles are signed in this 
section they do not necessarily represent the views of 
members of the Circle other than the writer. 


By W. E. D. Allen, m.p. 

An earlier article published in this section attempted to 
analyze existing political and psychological conditions in 
Georgia and the other Caucasian States.* The general 
conclusion reached was that there is little prospect of the 
national revindications of the Caucasian peoples receiving 
satisfaction within the present generation, or of these 
countries becoming the centre once more of that inter- 
national sympathy which has afflicted more often than 
assisted the objects of its interests. 

The position of Georgia is, however, in many respects 
distinct from that of Armenia and Azerbaijan, for more 
than one reason. First, the Georgians are a national 
group, more coherent than the Armenians, and more de- 
veloped than the Tatars. Secondly, their situation along 
the Black Sea coast and their common frontier with 
Turkey means that they are more accessible, and therefore 
more susceptible to influences without the orbit of the 
U.S.S.R. Thirdly, Georgia is an economic unit, which is 
not, like Armenia, landlocked, nor, like Azerbaijan, depen- 
dent on Russia proper for a market for principal industrial 
products. Lastly, from a juridical point of view, Georgia 
* “Nationality and Communism in Transcaucasia,” January, 1927. 

142 The Georgian Episode tn International Politics 

is the only one of the three Caucasian Republics which has 
received de jure recognition both from the Soviet Govern- 
ment and from a number of European and American 
sovereign states ; so that, after having been attacked and 
conquered without a declaration of war by the Soviet 
Republics, the position of Georgia in International Law is 
that of a sovereign independent state, whose territory can 
be described as being in the illegal occupation of the troops 
of a foreign Power.* 

It is not the intention here to examine the moral position 
created by the occupation of Georgia — a position which 
has been exhaustively discussed by Georgian, French, 
German, and Swedish writers, and which has been admirably 
summarized in the reports of the congresses of the Labour 
and Socialist International (L.S.I.) between the years 1923 
and 1928. Nor is it reasonable to advocate any diplomatic 
protests on a subject which has already received ventilation 
during specific meetings of the Assembly of the League 
of Nations. 

In view, however, of the claims of the Soviets to Bes- 
sarabia, claims which it may be argued have some juridical 
value, in view of the action of the Soviets in overthrowing 
the autonomous Government of Mongolia, and supple- 
menting it by an organism of their own creation, and in 
view of their recent invasion of Manchuria, neither of 
which can be shown to have a juridical basis, it is useful to 
examine their action in their first successful attempt in 
Georgia to satisfy their particular pretensions without any 
regard for International Law. 

It is worth while also to place on record the exact position 
of Georgia in International Law, in view of the fact that a 
change of regime in Russia, even after another generation, 
may produce an occasion on which the Georgians may 
secure the opportunity of resuming their place among the 
free and independent nations. 

And, lastly, in view of the right to intervene in or 
pronounce upon international affairs assumed by the British 
T.U.C. during the Soviet-Polish War of 1920, and by the 
Labour and Socialist (Second) International on various 
occasions, it is useful to recall here the international Socialist 
attitude towards the Soviet-Georgian Question during the 
years 1921-1929. 

* Comparable with the aggression of Bulgaria on Greece, of Austria on 
Albania, and of Turkey on Persia during the Great War, only in these 
cases none of the belligerents ever made any claims to permanent 

The Georgian Episode in Interkational Politics 143 

Following the assumption of power by the Bolsheviks in 
Russia in November, 1917, an independent Trans-Caucasian 
Republic was proclaimed. In the spring of 1918, the 
Trans-Caucasian Republic dissolved into its component 
parts, and separate governments were established in 
Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. 

At the end of 1918, a General Election was held in 
Georgia on the basis of manhood suffrage, as a result of 
which a Socialist Government was returned to power, 
supported by 81 per cent, of the votes cast. 

The de jure independence of the Georgian Republic was 
recognized by the Argentine Republic in September, 1919, 
and shortly afterwards by the Governments of Germany and 
Turkey. All three Trans-Caucasian Republics received 
de facto recognition from the Supreme Council in Paris in 
January, 1920. Further on May 7, 1920, the Soviet 
Government gave de jure recognition to Georgia, and on 
November 14, 1920, a treaty was signed at Moscow by 
Russian and Georgian plenipotentiaries, by which the 
Soviets renounced all interest in the internal affairs of 

On January 27, 1921, the Supreme Council in Paris, 
representing Great Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, and 
Japan, granted de jure recognition to the Georgian Govern- 
ment. This recognition by the Supreme Council was 
followed by recognition on the part of Poland, Roumania, 
and other States. In December, 1920, a demand for 
admission to the League of Nations made by the Govern- 
ments of Georgia, Esthonia, Latvia, and Lithuania was 
presented at the First Assembly. Consideration of this 
question was postponed in regard to all these States until 
the Assembly of the following year. 

In the meantime, in the summer of 1921, the territory of 
the Georgian Republic was suddenly invaded by Soviet 
troops without a declaration of war. The thirteenth Soviet 
army advanced from Azerbaijan up the valley of the Kura, 
and the eleventh army advanced from Erivan. At the 
same time detachments of the eighth army advanced from 
Vladikavkaz through the Daryal Pass, and detachments of 
the ninth army advanced along the Black Sea coast. The 
Georgian Government was taken completely by surprise 
and had no time to mobilize. After battles fought outside 
Tiflis and along the Trans-Caucasian Railway, the country 
finally succumbed to this sudden attack and the members of 
the Socialist Government fled the country. 

The unprecedented position created by this illegal attack 

144 The Georgian Episode in International Politics 

did not pass without considerable notice in European 
political circles. In 1922 and 1924, at the Third and Fifth 
Assemblies of the League of Nations, there were lengthy 
discussions of the Georgian question and resolutions were 
passed at which the Council was instructed to follow with 
attention every development in Georgia. 

At the International Economic Conference in Genoa in 
April, 1922, Mr. Chicherin, Chief of the Soviet Delegation, 
demanded recognition as the representative of Georgia, 
but was refused. Again in 1922-1923, at the Lausanne 
Conference, Mr. Chicherin made the same demand, but 
received another refusal. At the same time by the Straits 
Convention signed at Lausanne a seat was reserved for 
Georgia on the Commission of Control, as a Black Sea 
riverain state. Thus, with the exception of Great Britain, 
whose policy under the Socialist Governments of 1923 and 
1929 has in this matter been somewhat inconsistent, the 
position of Georgia as an independent sovereign state con- 
tinues to be recognized by the principal European Govern- 
ments, and a Georgian Minister is still officially received at 
the Quai d’Orsay as the representative of a sovereign 

The attitude of national and international Socialist 
bodies to the Georgian question is also of interest. 

Between the years 1922 and 1928, at various Trade 
Union Congresses in this country and at different meetings 
of the Labour and Socialist International, resolutions of 
sympathy for Georgia were passed. 

The general attitude of the British Socialist Party, includ- 
ing prominent members of His Majesty’s present Govern- 
ment, is indicated in the report of the Second Congress of 
the Labour and Socialist International held at Marseilles 
between August 22 and 27, 1925. 

At this Congress the delegates included the present 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Arthur Hender- 
son, the present Secretary of State for War, Mr. Tom 
Shaw, and nearly a dozen other well-known members of the 
present Socialist Party in the House of Commons.* 

The report first of all endorses a previous resolution 
passed at Hamburg in the following terms, which were ; 

“ The Congress approves the resolution of the Second 
Internationale and the Vienna Union on the question 
of Georgia, and demands the evacuation of Georgia by 
the Soviet troops and the re-establishment of the 
sovereignty of the Georgian people.” 

* See report, p. 79, for list of British delegates. 

The Georgian Episode in International Politics 145 

At the Congress in 1925 the decisions of previous Con- 
gresses were emphasized, and a resolution was passed to 
this effect ; 

“In view of the de jure recognition of the Soviet 
Government being under the consideration of every 
European Government, the Executive Committee 
reminds the affiliated parties that, in conformity with 
the decisions of the Hamburg Congress, Socialist 
Parties, whilst demanding from the Governments of 
their respective countries the recognition of the Soviet 
Government, should see to it that this act does not 
prevent negotiations with a view to the withdrawal of 
the military occupation of Georgia. 

“ The Executive Committee invites the affiliated 
parties to spread propaganda in favour of the evacua- 
tion of Georgia by the Soviet troops now in occupation, 
in conformity with the resolutions passed at Hamburg.”* 

Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, Mr. Philip 
Snowden raised the question of Georgia in very definite 
terms. On July 18, 1923, he put a question to the Under- 
secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. R. McNeil.f 

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs pointed 
out that His Majesty’s Government were only too well 
aware of the uselessness of attempting to influence the 
Soviet Government by diplomatic methods when unaccom- 
panied by pressure. 

Mr. Snowden then pressed the subject in a supplementary 
question, and asked : 

“ Should the question of the recognition of the Soviet 
Government arise, will the British Government, in 
considering that matter, insist in the conditions of 
recognition that the independence of these States 
should be recognized.” 

We thus see that the Georgians as late as 1925 enjoyed 
the full support of the L.S.I., and in 1923 their case was 
being pressed in the House of Commons by Mr. Philip 
Snowden. Yet when the Socialist Government came into 
power in 1924, we witness a remarkable change on the 
part of Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, who had always identified 
himself as closely as Mr. Snowden with the Georgian 
question. In July, 1923, Mr. Snowden invited the Govern- 

* For full details see pp. 34-37. 
t See Hansard of that date. 


146 The Georgian Episode in International Politics 

ment of the day to insist that Soviet evacuation of Georgia 
should precede British recognition of Russia. But on 
February 18, 1924, the Prime Minister, in answer to a 
question from Major Sir Archibald Sinclair as to whether 
the de jure recognition extended by His Majesty’s Govern- 
ment to the Republic of Georgia on January 27, 1921, had 
been withdrawn, replied : 

“ The answer is in the affirmative, inasmuch as the 
territories mentioned are understood to acknowledge 
the authority of the Union Government. Official re- 
cognition of Governments, which no longer exist de 
facto, naturally lapses when they cease to function.” 

That statement contrasts oddly with the Prime Minister’s 
written and spoken sympathy for Georgia, and with the 
question addressed by the Prime Minister’s distinguished 
colleague only six months previously. It contrasts even 
more strangely with the propaganda which was still being 
carried on by the L.S.I., to which members of the 1923 
Socialist Cabinet went as delegates two years later at 
Marseilles in 1925. 

The Prime Minister had proclaimed, in fact, that Georgia 
was an integral part of the Socialist Soviet Republics, for 
this point had not been agreed by previous Governments. 
The Georgian question, as has been indicated above, had 
been raised at the Lausanne Conference in 1922, when the 
Powers, with Lord Curzon representing Great Britain, 
refused to accept Mr. Chicherin’s credentials as represent- 
ing Georgia. It had been raised, also, at various meetings 
of the Assembly of the League of Nations. Even at the 
Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations, which was held 
during the tenure of power of the Socialist Government in 
1924, Professor Gilbert Murray, the British representative, 
attempted to define the proper attitude of Great Britain 
towards the question of the juridical independence of 
Georgia. He said : 

“On January 27, 1921, Great Britain recognized 
Georgia de jure as an independent state, and this year 
the British Government has recognized the Soviet 
Government, but the words of the recognition were 
very carefully and I think correctly chosen. 

“ I venture to suggest that it would not have been 
proper for His Majesty’s Government to interfere in 
the burning question then at issue between the Soviet 
Government and that of Georgia. At any rate the 

The Georgian Episode in International Politics 147 

recognition was expressed in very careful and correct 
language. His Majesty’s Government recognized the 
Union of Socialist Soviet Republics as being the de 
jure Government of those territories of the former 
Russian Empire which recognized its authority. It 
went no further.” 

In the late summer of 1924, a serious insurrection broke 
out in Georgia, for which the L.S.I. with their “propa- 
ganda in favour of the evacuation of Georgia ” cannot be 
held to have been without a serious degree of moral 
responsibility. The Georgians still had a pathetic faith in 
their Socialist friends in Western Europe. Members of the 
exiled Georgian Government, such as Mr. Jordania and 
Mr. Tsereteli, were themselves prominent members of the 
L.S.I. They had before them the sympathetic declarations 
of their friends, made before those friends were in power in 
their respective countries. In the summer of 1924, a 
Socialist Government was in power in England and the 
Cartel Government of M. Herriot came into power in 
France. During the late summer the insurrection broke 
out. It was in part a spontaneous peasant rising, which 
had been simmering through the previous year. Two of 
the leaders of this insurrection were, however, sent direct 
from Paris by the Georgian Socialists in exile there. One 
of these leaders, Khomeriki, had actually been a Minister 
of the Socialist Government in Georgia. 

The emotionally self-centred psychology of political 
leaders in the smaller States of the Near and Middle East 
is familiar to any one who htis studied politics in those 
regions. Each man thinks that his own country is the 
centre of the earth. These Georgian Socialists had had 
plenty of sympathy and indications of support from their 
friends of the Second International and they not unnaturally 
thought that their friends, when they had the power, would 
take practical steps to show their sympathy. 

The aftermath of the insurrection affords further examples 
of the irresponsibility of those who take part in international 
politics, when they express themselves through national and 
international organs of Socialist propaganda. 

In England an attempt was made, both in the Socialist 
Press and by Socialist members in the House of Commons, 
to minimize the significance of the insurrection and the 
severity of the Bolshevik reprisals. It was left to the 
annual reports of the L.S.I. to vindicate the position both in 
international Socialist circles and in the eyes of their 
unfortunate friends among the Georgian Socialist exiles. 

148 The Georgian Episode in International Politics 

The report of the Marseilles Congress of the L.S.I. (1925) 
reads (see page 35) : 

“ The news which appeared in the Press was highly 
contradictory ; and even considerably later while in the 
French Press between the Communists and our French 
and Georgian comrades, a violent controversy was 
being carried on as to the origins of the insurrection, 
the British Party Press still published accounts which 
pictured the insurrection as a mere episode of no sig;^ni- 
ficance. Only when the Georgian Communist papers 
themselves issued the full list of those who had been 
executed en masse and news of the shooting of innocent 
hostages, which were accompanied by the cynical taunt 
from the Communist leader, Kakhiani, that the 
Mensheviks ‘ have organized a democratic rebellion on 
democratic lines, and have not managed to execute a 
single one of our comrades, although we shot hundreds 
. . . ’ only then were the occurrences grasped in the 
full scope of their horror, and the Secretariat of the 
L.S.I. has done its utmost to spread through the whole 
world an acquaintance with the actual facts.” 

Such is the lamentable history of the Georgian question. 
The well-merited sympathy of International Socialism for 
Georgia is creditable, and contrasts favourably with the 
attitude adopted towards Poland and other border states. 
The contrast, in fact, indicates that the sympathy is a class 
sympathy, or rather a sectional sympathy — a sympathy of 
Socialists for Socialists, rather than a reasoned and sensitive 
sympathy for a small nationality oppressed by a mighty 
foreign Power. 

With regard to British Socialism, it is out of place to 
criticize here the present rational desire to arrive at some 
kind of modus vivendi with Russia. But that which excites 
criticism is the irresponsibility of the active sympathy ex- 
tended by the L.S.I. to the Georgian Socialists, combined 
with the apparent indifference of Socialists in power towards 
the aggressions of the Bolsheviks in Georgia and elsewhere. 

The L.S.I. and individual Socialist statesmen certainly 
appreciate the formidable dangers with which the declared 
policy of Soviet leaders threatens all regions adjacent to 
Russia. While Socialists in power have of necessity to 
face the realities of international politics, and to recognize 
a power which— menacing as in many respects it is— must 
remain a force in international politics, it is incumbent upon 
them that they should take to heart the bitter fate of the 

The Georgian Episode in International Politics 149 

Georgian Socialist Government, and that they should not 
turn away from the grim reality with wordy platitudes and 
negative action. In fact, to quote again the report of the 
L.S.I. : 

“ Whereas previously the question was to win recog- 
nition for Russia, and guard it from an intervention 
by capitalist forces, today there is not less a concern 
to guard Russia’s neighbours from the Russicm im- 
perialist policy of interference. The policy which the 
L.S.I. and the Socialist parties have pursued towards 
Russia since Hamburg must be supplemented today 
by an earnest warning that any attempt by the Russian 
Government to extend the frontiers of Russia [west- 
wards] under the cloak of revolutionary action threatens 
to bring about the most serious dangers.”* 

* “ L.S.I. Report, 1925,” p. 34. The italics are in the original ; the 
brackets are the author’s. 



By Colonel Kailas Narain Haksar, c.i.e. 

[It is admitted on all sides that the Indian States constitute a weighty 
factor in the problem of India’s position in the British Commonwealth. 
Their political importance is very generally realized ; indeed, many people 
are beginning to believe that their influence may in certain directions 
prove decisive in shaping the final settlement of India’s future. But it is 
less generally realized that the States have an economic, as well as a 
political, side ; and in response to several requests, we have arranged a 
series of articles to illustrate this less-familiar aspect of their importance. 
We are fortunate in obtaining the first article of the series, dealing with the 
great and wealthy state of Gwalior, from the pen of Colonel Haksar. 
Colonel Haksar possesses, in addition to great administrative experience, a 
detailed knowledge of the industrial and commercial resources of the 
State of Gwalior. He was private secretary to the late Maharaja Scindia 
from 1903 to 1912, and intimately associated with him in the conception 
and execution of many of the development-schemes briefly outlined below. 
Colonel Haksar also held the position of Senior Member of the Board of 
Revenue before attaining his present rank of Political Member of Council.] 

It is impossible to say anything about Gwalior of the 
twentieth century without a respectful mention of His late 
Highness Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia, whose dynamic 
personality dominated every branch of activity throughout 
his vast possessions in Northern India, for three decades and 
more. This versatile Prince, who was at once a soldier, 
sportsman, administrator, builder and industrialist, worked 
unceasingly with almost superhuman energy to ensure the 
prosperity of his people and renown of his State. Absolute 
master of three and a quarter million people, mostly 
agriculturists of a primitive type, inhabiting an area of land 
about the size of Scotland, though not so compact, he was 
constantly engaged during his annual visits to Bombay and 
Calcutta in discussing schemes of development of his 
untapped mineral and forest resources, of improving 
communications and irrigation, with leading industrialists, 
commercial magnates, experts and engineers. Fired with a 
genuine enthusiasm to promote the well-being of his 
subjects, he left no stone unturned to convert his dream 
into a reality. With literacy as low as 4 per cent, and 
the figure for literacy in English— the lingua franca of all 
trade — as low as | per cent., and lower still in the moneyed 
classes, and Indian capital not being forthcoming, private 
enterprise in industrial matters has been hitherto insignifi- 

Economic Development in Gwalior State 15 1 

cant. There are in the State at present two hundred 
factories and industrial concerns worked by electrical 
energy or mechanical power, comprised mainly of cotton 
ginning and pressing factories, spinning and weaving mills, 
pottery works, tanneries, railway and motor workshops, oil 
and bone mills, cement, soap, essential oil and small 
chemical industries. 

Mineral Resources ; Iron . — The Gwalior State consists 
of two main blocks of territory, the northern being a 
compact geographical entity, while the southern — the Malwa 
plateau — comprises four separate tracts. The former has 
an extremely trying climate during the hot months and a 
healthy dry one during the four winter months, while Malwa, 
“ Scindia’s fat province to the south, with its renowned 
black cotton soil and practical immunity from famine or 
pinching scarcity, approaches the ideal of a land where 
it is always afternoon.” The northern block has a few 
mineral deposits, not very rich and not all workable. Iron 
ore, in thin haematite shales assaying up to 55-65 per cent, 
iron, abounds within a radius of ten miles of the capital city, 
(Santow-Par area), and beds of massive limonite and 
nodules, working up to 50 per cent, and 32 per cent, 
respectively, are to be found in the Malwa plateau (Jat- 
Ratangarh, and Bagh), where the remains of about fifty 
indigenous furnaces manufacturing about 20,000 maunds of 
iron annually by crude methods can still be seen today. 
The industry died a natural death owing to the competition 
of cheap imported iron manufactured by modern methods, 
and now the high percentage of silica combined with the 
inaccessibility of these deposits militates against its utiliza- 
tion for smelting by modern methods. A languishing 
industry is still carried on around Gwalior, where the iron 
ore from the Santow-Par area, being in thin flakes, is easy 
to work, and has a reasonable chance of coming into use in 
future, although the absence of coal or cheap hydro-electric 
power in the State is a serious handicap. 

Pottery Clays . — Next in importance to iron are the clays of 
Gwalior, which were experimented upon — about two decades 
ago — for the manufacture of pottery wares. None of the clays 
could on analysis be classed as china clay, but they were 
mostly siliceous buff— clays resembling those of Dorset and 
Devonshire, where they are largely used for deep cream- 
coloured and light buff glazed tiles. 

In view of the fact that good quality pink felspar and 
99 per cent, quartz is available in abundance for body and 
glaze, a small experimental scheme was immediately 

152 Economic Development in Gwalior State 

sanctioned by His Highness which, as a result of its 
successful working, was expanded into the present Gwalior 
Potteries, Ltd., with an authorized capital of 10 lakhs, an 
enterprise which offers much promise for the future. A 
clay deposit which is found to be that of kaolin, near the 
historic Kutab Minar at Delhi, has also been purchased, 
and a branch pottery works established there also. Both 
these potteries are manufacturing acid-proof jars, flooring 
tiles, electric insulators, hospital requisites and household 

Bziilding Materials. — By far the most numerous and 
extensive deposits in the State consist of building materials 
(Vindhyan sandstones and limestones), which are of the 
highest class and which are to be found in almost every 
district. The ancient buildings and temples in the Gwalior 
Fort, the historic palaces, the tomb of Muhammad Ghau, 
and other old buildings scattered throughout the territories 
of the State testify to the lasting quality of this material. 
It is soft and easy to work for carvings, and it withstands 
the ravages of time and weather exceedingly well. Dr. 
E. W. Vredenburg of the Geological Survey of India 
remarks that '‘The Gwalior sandstones are remarkable for 
their fineness and evenness of grain. They are of very 
pleasing colour, white or pale buff, acquiring with age a 
beautiful warm gold tint. Some varieties are pink. One 
particular kind of pale greenish-grey stone is of such 
extremely fine grain that unless examined with a lens the 
component parts are scarcely visible ; it is suitable for the 
most delicately carved ornaments. For the ornamental 
parts of the building nothing could be more suitable than 
these beautiful materials, especially with the additional 
charm of the exquisite decoration which the accomplished 
stone carvers of Gwalior supply at such moderate terms.” 

A peculiar band of variegated marble of conglomeratic 
nature, 3 to 4 feet in thickness, also occurs at Gohara, near 
Sabalgarh. It is reported that “the marble would be 
suitable for monolithic columns, large bold mouldings, 
plinths, dados, margins for panels, flooring tiles, etc.” 

A cement works with an authorized capital of 40 
lakhs is utilizing the extensive limestone deposits, which are 
of very good quality, for the manufacture of Portland 
cement. The works are equipped with the most modern 
cement manufacturing machinery, the whole process being 
continuous, and all machinery is electrically driven from 
power generated on the spot. 

Of the other mineral deposits, ochres, mica, bauxite. 

Economic Development in Gwalior State 153 

garnets and galena may be mentioned to be of any 

Forest Produce . — The Gwalior State has 1,800,000 acres 
of land, about 1 1 per cent, of its total area, under forest 
reserves. Boswellia serrata, which exudes an important 
oleo-resin, occupies the bulk of the Gwalior forests, about 
800 square miles, and is still awaiting commercial exploita- 
tion. Much preliminary chemical work in the Imperial 
Institute, London, the Forest Research I nstitute,Dehra Dun, 
and the local Scindia Chemical Laboratory, has been done 
on this oleo-resin, which yields 8 per cent, of pure pinene 
oil (turpentine equal in quality to American and French 
oils), about 55 per cent, of resin and 33 per cent. gum. 
There is much potential wealth in this substance, and the 
Boswellia forests, like the pine, may become one day the 
centres of an industry not only in Gwalior but for the whole 
of Central India and the Bombay Presidency. The industry 
would require the most suitable commercial plant for 
preparing the products under local conditions, together with 
tapping operations extended over large areas. 

Of timber there is none except a little teak of inferior 
quality, but whole forests abound in trees suitable as wood 
fuel, and samples of three kinds of woods sent to Germany 
and Glasgow for experiments in destructive distillation 
gave the following results. This is another forest industry 
which is awaiting exploitation : 

Name of Wood. 






Field in Pounds per Ton. 





Crude i 

Wood [ Tar Oil. 
Spirit. [ 


Acacia catechu 




19-5 II -2 


Boswellia serrata ... 




30 0 10 7 


Anogeissus pendula 




32-5 ' 14-6 


Above three woods together 



51 '3 

3 galls, i — 


Woods suitable for match manufacture, host trees for lac 
propagation, tannin-yielding plants and oil-yielding materials 
also exist, most of which are utilized. There are also trees 
and shrubs that yield valuable fibre, grasses that have been 
very favourably reported upon as suitable material for paper 
pulp. An important grass, Cymbopogan Martini, that yields 
the palmrosa oil of commerce, also grows in one district. 
Its plantation over an area of 500 acres was tried by the 
local State Laboratory, and good distillation results having 
been obtained, it was handed over to a private concern 

154 Economic Development in Gwalior State 

known as the Gaekwar Oil and Chemical Co., who are now 
distilling about 2,500 lbs. of palmrosa oil annually. This 
firm, incorporated in Baroda with an authorized capital of 
50 lakhs, also crushes about 200 maunds of edible oil seeds 
per day, and further manufactures disinfecting fluids and 
varnishes, the total annual output of which is 20,000 and 
8,000 gallons respectively. 

The Gwalior Engineering Works. — The State maintains 
an up-to-date workshop, the biggest in Central India, 
known as the Gwalior Engineering Works. It has five main 
sections. The foundry department can undertake plain or 
intricate castings, such as ornamental gates, railings, cylinder 
heads, road roller wheels, etc. There is a machine and 
erecting shop, loco and carriage and wood work and 
furniture shops, and silver and gold sections, which turn out 
every sort of European and Indian articles both for domes- 
tic and presentation purposes, either of sterling silver or in 
the best electro-plate. The shops are fitted with modern 
lathes, drilling, planing, shaping machines, and line shafts 
for turning out all sorts of iron and metal ware. The 
entire workshops are run by electricity. 

Leather Factory. — The Gwalior Leather Factory, Tan- 
nery and Tent Factory is a prosperous concern which was 
started in the year 1898 and is well equipped with up-to-date 
machinery. It manufactures saddlery and harness of all 
kinds, including plain, military and police saddles, single and 
pair harness of the best English patent or tanned leather, 
or locally tanned leather portmanteaus, handbags, dressing 
bags and cases, holdalls, ladies’ and gentlemen’s boots and 
shoes, and military boots, etc., are manufactured in large 
quantities. During the Great War the services of the 
factory were offered to the British Government, and fully 
taken advantage of by the Indian Munitions Board. It has 
to its credit the supply of more than 20 lakhs’ worth of 
harness and saddlery and other leather goods. The tent 
factory makes tents of various descriptions, and the entire 
factory supplies all the needs of the Gwalior Government, 
Army and the Police, and is patronized by most of the 
important Indian States. 

Textiles. — The hand weaving industries, here as every- 
where, have suffered serious set-backs owing to the com- 
petition of mill-manufactured material, and only those 
handloom working families now exist which by virtue of 
their exquisite workmanship have failed to be beaten by the 
power of the machine. Chanderi, a town about 1 50 miles 
south of the capital city, enjoys a well-deserved reputation 

Economic Development in Gwalior State 155 

for its fine muslins, which are renowned on account of their 
exquisite fineness of texture and excellence of manufacture, 
as well as the blending of gold and silver designs in the 
body of the weave. They are manufactured both in silk 
and cotton, and in a variety of delicate shades of colour. 
A common saying refers to this industry ; 

Shahar Chanderi Mominwara, 

Tiria Raj, Khasam Panihara, 

(In Chanderi town, in the weavers’ quarter. 

The wives rule, and husbands draw water.) 

The origin of this saying is said to be the fact that weavers 
must keep their hands soft, and women’s hands, which are 
naturally so, must be preserved from becoming hard through 
household drudgery. All the manufactured goods are still 
stamped with the crest of the former Bundhela chiefs of 
that part of the country, a lion rampant. 

A mill known as the Jayaji Rao Cotton Mill was started 
at Gwalior in the year 1923 with a capital of 35 lakhs 
under the managing agency of Messrs. Birla Brothers, Ltd., 
Calcutta. The Maharaja gave 18 lakhs of rupees as loan 
in debentures. It is now the biggest and best managed 
mill in Central India. There are about 30,000 spindles 
and 800 looms, with a complete mechanic shop and arrange- 
ment for dyeing and bleaching cloth. About 5,000 hands 
are employed. The mills are working double shifts and 
produce about 30,000 lbs. of cloth per day of 20 hours 
(2 shifts). The total amount of cotton consumed during 
the year is valued at about 50 lakhs of rupees, most of 
which {15’s and 20’s count) comes from Ujjain (Malwa) and 
Rutlam State, and some (lo’s and 12’s count) from districts 
around Agra and Delhi. Long cloths, sheeting and dyed 
goods are among the chief products. Recently the manu- 
facture of hosiery has also been started on a large scale, and 
is making satisfactory progress. Half the manufactured 
cloth is consumed in the State, and the remainder is 
exported to Amritsar, Cawnpore, and Delhi. 

The mill has provided well-built quarters for more than 
1,500 families, with excellent arrangements for the supply of 
water, electric light in compound, and sanitation. It 
maintains a free hospital and school for boys and girls. A 
big hospital and maternity ward, creche, market, and school 
are under construction, which, when ready, will give the 
mills the aspect of a small but complete industrial settlement. 

Great credit is due to the mechanical workshop of this 
mill for its remarkable achievement in the construction of 

156 Economic Development in Gwalior State 

an entire motor-car exclusively from Indian material with 
the exception of the magneto, carburetter, the tyres and 
tubes. With the exception of these four things, every part 
of this car was cast and moulded and fitted up by them. 
The makers claim that this is the first car ever made in 
India. It is a four-cylinder, i4‘75 h.p. machine, and can 
travel at a speed of 45 miles per hour. 

Besides this mill there are three more cotton spinning 
and weaving mills in Ujjain, the former capital of the State 
in Malwa. The Binod Mills has a paid-up capital of 2 1 lakhs, 
and has about 16,000 spindles and 540 looms. The other, 
the Nazar Ali Mills, which is entirely a private concern, has 
15,000 spindles and 264 looms. A third one, the Sipra 
Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills, Ltd., has a capital of 
25 lakhs. Sir Hukumchand Kt. of Indore, has of late 
secured permission for the construction of a big cotton mill 
at Madhonagar, Ujjain, and the construction work has 
already been taken in hand. 

Irrigation Works and Communications . — The Gwalior 
State is not a level piece of country with flat surface slopes, 
as in the Punjab or the United Provinces, traversed by 
large rivers. It consists of high sloping uplands studded 
with numerous hillocks, and of small pieces of flat land in 
the valleys. The rainfall being very precarious and the 
nature of the soil porous, a considerable need for irrigation 
exists, especially in the northern tract of the State. From 
time immemorial the agricultural classes in the State 
recognized the value of storage reservoirs. Some of the 
large old tanks are still extant, but a great many of them 
became damaged during the stormy periods of Indian 
history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Some 
effort to restore them and construct new ones was made 
before the time of the late Maharaja, but it was left to His 
late Highness to organize a regular Department for Irriga- 
tion Works, and utilize the services of eminent engineers, 
as a result of which there are now 723 minor tanks, 14 1 
major works, and four very big schemes in the charge of the 
Department. The Department has spent about 93 lakhs 
in the constructed works, and about 21 lakhs’ worth of 
important works are in progress. 

The Gwalior State has 2,000 miles of fine metalled road, 
and is traversed by the Great Indian Peninsula and the 
Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railways over a total 
distance of 265 and 180 miles respectively. The Gwalior 
Light Railway — a 2-foot gauge line — covers a total distance 
of 250 miles, and yields a fair dividend on the capital 

Economic Development in Gwalior State 157 

invested, and has in famine time proved of incalculable 
benefit in carrying supplies of food to the more remote 
tracts in Northern Gwalior. That the gauge of this State 
Railway is only 2 feet instead of the more economic 2 feet 
6 inches is due to the fact that the line had its birthplace 
in the Maharaja’s Palace Grounds, where the late Maharaja, 
when in his teens, his interest centred in locomotives, toyed 
with a 2-foot engine and seven miles of track which ended 
in a favourite shooting box. Later, when he began to 
administer his State, he thought fit to utilize the already 
constructed portion in building a commercial light railway. 

From these brief notes it will be apparent that the 
industrial and commercial possibilities of Gwalior State are 
very considerable. Along several lines, promising develop- 
ments have been initiated. The State is at present 
administered by a Council of Regency : and the young 
Maharaja, when he succeeds to the throne of his ancestors, 
will doubtless throw himself as keenly into the task of 
forwarding the interests of the State and the prosperity of 
her people as did his illustrious father, the late Maharaja. 

Exports and Imports 

OF THE Gwalior 






(Value in Rs). (Value in Rs). 




Sugar, etc 



Oilseeds, ghee, and kerosene 









Fibres (cotton, silk, and wool) 

••• 1,39,47,104 


Intoxicating drugs (excluding opium) 4 j2o,o33 


Fireworks and explosives 



Dyes ... 



Wood and fodder 



Stones and clay 






Cattle and leather ... 






Grand total 




By Sir Arnold Wilson 

It seems probable that railway construction, and the in- 
creasing use of aeroplanes, will, within the next ten years, 
deprive almost all Europeans, and most Persians, of what 
may not unfairly be described as the most pleasurable, the 
most sociable, and perhaps the most manly aspect of Persian 
national life — namely, long caravan journeys across the 
great mountain ranges which lie between the torrid plains 
of Khuzistan and the cooler expanses of the Persian plateau. 
But the road from Ahwaz to Isfahan offers such difficult 
problems alike to railway and road engineers, and is of such 
intrinsic commercial importance, that it will perhaps be 
longer in use exclusively as a mule track than any other 
main road in Persia, and on this ground alone deserves a 
fuller account than the exigencies of space will allow to 
other routes which traverse the area dealt with in this 

The first duty that an historian owes is a tribute of 
acknowledgment to his predecessors ; in the case of the 
country traversed by this route, such a tribute is as grate- 
fully rendered as it is deserved. Among those who have 
previously visited Bakhtiari territory and written about the 
Ahwaz-Isfahan road occur the famous names of Layard and 
Curzon, whose names are respectively a guarantee for 
adventurous research and painstaking observation. I 
append a list of travellers who have described in print their 
experiences in this region, and it is principally from an 
attentive perusal of their writings and those of their 
predecessors, as well as from the personal experiences of 
several years, that I have attempted to consolidate, within 
the limits of a single article, a description of the road 
itself and of the principal objects of interest which an 
energetic and observant traveller may hope to see in the 
course of his journey from the plains of Elam to the ancient 
capital of the Safavi monarchs. 

I. JVais, 16/16, 4|- hours;* 2. Salmieh^ 24/40, 7^ hours. 

The first two stages of 16 miles and 24 miles respectively, 
from Ahwaz to Wais and Salmieh or Raghaiwah, lie along 
the motor road from Ahwaz to Ram Hormuz ; they lie over 

* The “ hours ” quoted are in every case from actual experience of an 
ordinary mule caravan and are taken from the late Lieutenant Ranking’s 

The Road to Isfahan 


flat alluvial soil, seamed with ancient canals, green with 
grass and young corn in spring, yellow by mid-April with 
the ripening harvest, which by mid-May has been reaped 
and gathered into great heaps in readiness for threshing, 
winnowing, and garnering. Some travellers may be 
tempted to accept the proffered car and to join their caravan 
at the foot of the hills at Raghaiwah, but unless the weather 
be uncomfortably hot, they will be well advised to resist the 
temptation and to accompany their men and beasts, for it is 
during these two marches that the caravan, like Kipling’s 
ship, will find its soul, and become, ere it enters the hills, a 
harmonious entity. VVais is an Arab village, on the bank 
of the Karun ; its inhabitants, like all who live on main 
roads, view travellers with somewhat unfriendly eyes, and 
who will blame them ? So often do mendicants claim 
hospitality, and the servants of the great demand, none too 
politely, attention and service, that the milk of human 
kindness has turned a little sour. But if, among the 
traveller’s bodyguard, there be one who has a friend in the 
village, chickens and eggs will be readily forthcoming, and 
fodder for the animals ; bread alone will be a difficulty, for 
to sell bread is 'aib — a breach of time-honoured convention* 
— and to give it away is hard ; moreover, bread is baked 
once a day only, and immediately eaten, and to bake bread 
for a dozen hungry men is hard work for the women. T o the 
right of the road runs the pipeline, with a gauge-house every 
five or six miles; motors speed past on their way to Shushtar, 
Ram Hormuz, or the oilfields ; to the left, in the distance, will 
be seen the masts and funnels of river-craft on their way up the 
Karun to Dar-i-Khazineh or Shalili. The soil is, in autumn, 
as hard as iron, but through it, in the centre of the road, 
will sprout the purple crocus to waste for a brief moment its 
sweetness on the desert air, and to herald the coming 
respite from the heat of summer — auspicium melioris cevi. 
Next day brings us to Umm-ul Gharaibeh at 6 miles, to 
Nihairieh 12 miles, and to Salmieh, in the Raghaiwah 
plain, at 24 miles ; in spring, and we will imagine for the 
rest of the journey that it is springtime, the green plains at 
the foot of the red and white hills of sandstone and gypsum 
will be alive with flocks of sheep and goats, horses, cattle, 

* Cf. Layard, “Nineveh and Babylon,” 1853, p. 567. “To say of an 
Arab ‘ that he has sold bread,’ is to offer him the greatest of insults. To 
part with a loaf for money is accounted an act bringing disgrace not only 
upon the perpetrator, but upon his whole family. . . . Even its sale in the 
public market was forbidden. . . . The same scruples do not exist with 
regard to other articles of food.” 

i6o The Road to Isfahan 

and mules, cropping the fine grass, dependent for water on 
pools left here and there by winter rains. 

Their owners, generally Arabs but sometimes Lurs, live 
in black tents dotted here and there. Raghaiwah and 
Salmieh have seen cruel fighting between Lur and Arab 
tribesmen, intent on securing for their own flocks, in a bad 
year, the precious grazing of this favoured tract ; in 1905 
or so feeling ran so high that not even the women were 
immune from harm at the hands of the other side ; today 
the feud is dormant, but it is not forgotten. The tract is 
claimed by the Bakhtiari Khans as personal property. 
Through Raghaiwah runs the motor road from Shushtar 
and the oilfields to Ram Hormuz and the new oilfield at 
Haft Kel ; crossing it the traveller bids farewell to wheels 
and relies henceforward on the older and more respectable 
means of movement — stout-hearted mules and sure-footed 

4. Jaru, 18/58, 1,500 feet, 8 hours. 

Leaving the plains the road soon rises steeply from the 
'Alwanieh tract of Raghaiwah, and tops the first ridge 
at 450 feet ; at 8^ miles is an Arab settlement called 
Gazin. The Anglo-Persian Oil Co. in 1922 unsuccessfully 
bored for oil near here on the banks of the Khundaq 
stream. At 18 miles Jaru is reached, a permanent village 
of 120 houses of Makwandi tribesmen, who claim to have 
emigrated from Mecca ; from this point to the Pul-i-Shalu 
the road runs through territory which formerly belonged to 
the Chahar Lang branch of the Bahktiari tribes, or Janiki 
Garmsir,* a race ethnologically as well as tribally distinct 
from the Haft Lang, with whom relations are generally 
more or less strained. 

5. Chashmeh-i-Raughani on the Taulah Plain, 11/69, 
2,100 feet, 4I hours. 

This is a short but wearying stage over rough ground, 
waterless till the springs from which the stage derives its 
name are reached, and they are brackish. But the travel- 
ler’s eyes are already gladdened by fresh sights ; to the 
north-west by night the pillar of fire and by day the cloud 
of smoke of the oil-fields of Masjid Sulaiman, and to the 
north the great limestone hog’s-back of Asmari, and beyond 
it the snow-covered heights of the Zagros range from the 
Charri pass to the Kuh-i-Zard and the Mungasht. If he 

* Janiki is a corruption for Juwaniki, the name of the tribe that 
originally inhabited this area. 

The Road to Isfahan 


is wise and starts early he will see little foxes disporting 
themselves on the hillsides, and perhaps a jackal or two, 
though these are seldom found far from villages ; a moun- 
tain sheep, chinkara, or ibex may well be seen, and in the 
half light of early dawn porcupines shuffle down the mule 
tracks, dropping quills as they go. Great lizards and 
jerboa, too, are there to entertain us, whilst in every 
hollow stand little groups of black tents, and on a thousand 
hills the cattle are grazing. Buttermilk can be had for the 
asking everywhere, and the traveller will soon discover 
that the Bakhtiari is a more forthcoming and genial creature 
than his cousin Ishmael of the plain, though he, too, in his 
native haunts, has his own virtues. The regular inhabi- 
tants of the Taulah plain are Makwandi and Mumbeni 

6. Kaleh Tul, 21/90, 2,750 feet, 7|^ hours. 

For the first 10 miles the road runs east, crossing a 
series of torrents and ravines, some of which immediately 
after rain are formidable streams, as the writer discovered 
to his cost in 1908, when he pitched his camp on high 
ground between two dry ravines, which joined at the foot 
of the Asmari range to form the Ab-i-Lashkar. After a 
night’s rain they became swift torrents, 5 feet deep, and 
impassable by man or beast. One of these ravines, the 
Darreh-i-Pul-i-Burida (5 miles), must once have been 
bridged ; the footings are to be seen on the eastern side, 
made of large undressed stones, cemented with gypsum. 
At 7 miles the road crosses the Dam-i-Dalli pass, or the 
Imamzadeh-i-Kallah Dud as it is sometimes called. At 
10 miles the road turns north along the Bulawas {sc„ Abu’l 
’Abbas) river ; at 14 miles the Rud-i-Zard (a tributary of 
the Jarrahi) is crossed, and at 15 miles are reached the 
villages of Aala Khurshid, Bagh Malik, Khamisi, and 
Shang. The district is known as Manjanik, and is famous 
for its ruins, which, according to Rawlinson,* consist of 
two distinct classes — the huge Babylonian mound and 
traces of buildings formed of hewn blocks of stone. There 
are many ruins of the latter class and of later periods, 
which suggest that the place was inhabited in the days 
of the Atabegs. The mound itself is probably the site of 
a fire temple ; it is believed by Lurs to represent the spot 
where Nimrod cast the patriarch Abraham into the fire 
with the famous Manjanik or Mangonel (the manganicon of 

♦ Rawlinson, “Journey from Zohab to J.R.G.S., IX., 

1839, p. 81. 



I 62 

The Road to Isfahan 

the Greeks) ; there can be little doubt that excavations 
here would be amply rewarded. Some lo miles south, on 
the old route from Manjanik to Behbehan, lies an interest- 
ing ruin, the “ Darwazeh-i-gach,” an old building, made 
almost wholly of blocks of gypsum, with three round 
arches, in the Sasanian style and probably of that date ; 
the road passes through the central gate. At the sides 
are vaulted apartments, probably for toll collectors ; it is 
pictured by De Bode (p. 391), who passed it in 1841, and 
was in much the same condition when seen by the writer 
just seventy years later. 

From the Manjanik valley to Kaleh Tul is 7 miles, easy 
going, the last 3^ miles being along the plain, which is 
cultivated in places, in full view of the fort of Tul, which 
stands on a natural elevation in the midst of the plain. 
The district of Janiki was named in the last century 
Tulghar, apparently from the title of this fort, which has 
been immortalized by Sir Henry Layard in his “ Early 
Adventures.” The traveller will here, for the first time 
since he left Ahwaz, find shelter and hospitality, if he 
cares to claim it, and he can enjoy for the first time the 
pleasures of clear water and the best of victuals. 

Kaleh Tul, as is explained elsewhere, is the seat of the 
chiefs of the Chahar Lang clan, and when Layard visited 
them in 1 840 the power of their chief embraced the greater 
portion of the country. It consists of a large stone and 
mud-brick fort, built upon a tepi, or artificial mound, prob- 
ably of Babylonian date, about too feet high. The fort is 
a square with five towers, and is built in two tiers. In the 
interior it contains two courts. A village of mud huts 
clusters at the foot of the mound, and in the cold season 
black tents are pitched in the vicinity. 

Towering above Kaleh Tul, which De Bode writes as 
Qarah Tul, stands the mountain mass of Mungasht, or as 
it should be properly written Mankhisht ; the upper slopes 
are wholly barren of vegetation, the peaks (9,600 feet) 
within the range of perpetual snow ; on the very summit is 
a perfectly flat plain, more than half a mile in each direction, 
on which an aeroplane could land with perfect safety. 
Water and fuel are abundant, and the climate in summer 
superb ; it may be a summer resort ere the youngest of us 
has been gathered to his fathers. Natural caverns exist 
near the summit capable of holding a thousand men, and 
the place has been of great celebrity in the Persian wars. 
It formed the stronghold of the Atabegs, who reigned in 

* Cf. Nuzhat ul Qulub and Sharaf-nameh. 

The Road to Isfahan 


Lur-i-Buzurg in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth 
centuries, and one of these princes, named Takallah, 
successfully defended it against the armies of Hulaku 
during a siege of nine months’ duration.* It has been 
often, indeed, attacked, but has the reputation amongst 
Lurs of being a maiden fortress, and its present occupants, 
the Bahmai, have maintained the tradition on more than 
one occasion in the past twenty years by force of arms. 
The writer has ascended it from the north-west and south 
on three different occasions, finding on each route fresh 
beauties and fresh points of interest ; no district south of 
the Karun is better worth a visit. There can be little 
doubt that it was used by the notables of Manjanik and 
Idej (Malamir) as a summer resort; an ancient paved road 
of Sasanian type can be seen zigzagging up a spur of the 
southern slope, and could have served no other purpose. 
Ibex and mountain sheep are very common on the screes 
below the summit, but water is scarce, and a local guide is 
indispensable ; of all the springs along the slopes the most 
attractive is that known as Sarvistan (about 7,000 feet), 
being planted with cypresses, a few of which are of con- 
siderable size. The view from the summit is as fine as 
any in Persia, and is alone worth the journey. 

At Khadda Sur, about 7 miles north-west of Kaleh Tul, 
an interesting bone deposit of Pliocene age has been found, 
containing teeth of the three-toed horse, Hipparion gracile. 
The bones occur in a conglomerate, which has been 
cemented by bitumen, showing the great antiquity of the 
oil seepages in this part of Persia. 

7. Malamir, 16/108, 3,000 feet, 5I hours. 

From Kaleh Tul the traveller has the choice of 
two tracks to Malamir. One keeps to the west of the 
pass past the hamlet of Shahruzan and over a low 
plain, past the Chashmeh-i-Atabegi to Halagun.f a 

The Atabeg, relying on the signet ring of Hulaku, which was sent him 
in token of pardon, came down from his stronghold ; he was immediately 
seized, sent to Tabriz, and executed {Sharaf-nameh, quoted by Rawlin- 

SOD, op. cit.). 

t Of this village Layard writes (VIII. 166) : “ We arrived in the after- 
noon at a village named Aburgon, surrounded by pomegranate and fig- 
trees in full fruit and rice fields. Near it were the ruins of a castle. It 
had formerly belonged to Hasan Khan, a powerful chief of the Chahar 
Lang tribe, who, as I have mentioned, with his brother, Feth Ali Khan, 
and one of his sons, had been slain by Muhammad Taqi Khan, in revenge 
for their treachery in delivering into the hands of Feth Ali Shah, his 


The Road to Isfahan 

prosperous village in a well - watered plain, and thus 
through a narrow gorge, at the entrance of which are two 
ruined towers, apparently of Sasanian age, to Malamir — a 
total distance of some 20 miles. At this point the track 
oins the main route from Shushtar over the Kuh-i- 
Murdafil.* The other route, 4 miles shorter, strikes 
north for 4 miles across the plain, and enters a deep, 
narrow, and well-wooded defile, the Tang-i-Nashalil, 8 miles 
long, whence the traveller emerges, into the upper reaches 
of the Halagun stream, and thus enters the Malamir plain, 
the hamlet and caravanserai of that name being attained at 
16 miles. 

This plain was the headquarters in the fourteenth century 
of the powerful Atabegs of the Fazluyah dynasty and the 
site of their capital the ancient town of Idhaj,| of which 
scarcely a trace now remains. It played, however, so 
important a part in local history that no apology is needed 
for referring the reader to I bn Batutah’s account of his visit 
in 1330. 

Here is said to have been located the magnificent bridge 
of Jirzad, a work of the age of Ardeshir Babakan, described 
by early writers;}; as one of the wonders of the world ; 
Rawlinson {J.R.G.S. IX., p. 82) states that “ the imperfect 
remains of the buttresses of the bridge are said even to be 
still visible,” but the present writer failed to identify them. 

Not far from the caravanserai, in a narrow gorge, is a 
large cavern, called the Shikaft-i-Salman, containing a 

father. All Khan. . . . The elders of the village came to me in the 
evening and sitting round the fire related to me the story of the Hasan 
Khan’s death — how Muhammad Taqi Khan fought with him hand to 
hand, and how he had slain Fath Ali Khan, pointing out the spot where 
he fell.” Ibn Batutah says that at this place, which he calls Halafihan, 
the Kings of Idhaj were buried : he spent several days here e?i route to 
Isfahan, and mentions “ a big college, which the stream traverses, which 
encloses a mosque where Friday prayers are said. Outside is a bath, and 
a big orchard surrounds this madraseh.” 

♦ Thus Ibn Batutah ; “ We left Toster (Shushtar) and we travelled 
for three days in high mountains. At each stage we found a hermitage 
(madraseh) as already mentioned.” The remains of one such hermitage 
are to be seen at the south foot of Kuh-i-Murdafil : it is known as Kaleh 
Madraseh. Jaihani’s Ashkalu-ul Alam says it is four stages from Askar 
Mukram. The Nuzhat ul Qulub of Hamdullah Mustawp (1340) refers to 
Idhaj as “a small town,” gives the distance from Isfahan as forty-five 
farsahks, adding that its climate is unhealthy, but the water wholesome 
and good. 

f Zaqariyah Ibn Muhammad al Qazwini, in the Asar ul Bilad (a.d. 
1283) and Abul Fida (1338) in Marasid al Ittila ’ala asma ’al amkina wal 

♦ Ibid. 

The Road to Isfahan 165 

natural recess, on either side of which are figures much 
larger than life, sculptured in the rock.* 

In another ravine, the Kul Faraun, are a further very 
remarkable series of rock sculptures and inscriptions Layard 
describes (X. 220) as containing 341 figures in five tablets, 
accompanied by a perfectly preserved inscription of twenty- 
four lines in the Sasanian cuneiform character. 

The Malamir plain is fertile, and large crops of barley 
and some wheat are grown by tribesmen ; drought is rare, 
locusts are unfortunately common. But there is plenty of 
room for cattle, and from November to May the edges of 
the plain are dotted with black tents, and the traveller's ears 
are rejoiced with the most grateful of sounds — the bleating 
of sheep and goats, and the cheerful sound of the shepherd- 
boys’ pipes on the hillsides. 

Of the half a dozen or more routes converged here, the 
most important are those from Ahwaz and Shushtar, to 
which we have already referred, and from Isfahan, which 
we shall shortly follow. But two others deserve mention — 
namely, the roads to Shushtar via Gotwand and Lali and 
Andaka, crossing the Karun at Bardiqamchi, and the road 
to Susan in the Karun valley, north-west of Malamir via the 

Of the road to Susan, Layard (VIII. 171) writes : 

“ I soon reached the foot of the mountains which divide the plain of 
Malamir from the valley of Susan. Through a gap in this lofty serrated 
ridge passed the track which I was to follow. I began the ascent to it by 
a gentle but very stony path. After about an hour I found myself in a 
narrow gorge, in the bed of a torrent then dry. . . . The mountains, 
which had hitherto been bare and treeless, were on the opposite side 
thickly wooded with . . . From the summit of the pass I looked 
into a valley down which ran the river Karun. The tents and huts 
of the tribe encamped at Susan were visible to the north in the distance. 
Entering a dense forest, I descended rapidly by a very steep and difficult 
pass, leading my horse after me. ... We descended to the river and 
rode along its banks. I could trace here and there the remains of an ancient 
paved road and the ruins of buildings and foundations of walls. The 

* They are described by Layard (VIII. 167) as follows ; “ The one to the 
right, with a long curled beard, appeared . . . from the cap fitting close 
to the head, with a double fold over the forehead, to be that of a Mobed, 
or priest of the fire-worshippers. His robe reached to his feet and his arms 
were folded on his breast. The other figure had a similar headdress, but 
more character. A short tunic, and his hands were joined in an attitude 
of prayer. . . . To the left of the figure first described was an inscription 
consisting of thirty-six lines in the cuneiform character. This inscription, 
which has been published by the British Museum, relates to the restoration 
of certain temples, and the coming of sculptures and inscriptions by a 
King whose name Professor Sayce gives as Takhi-hi-Kutur.’’ 

The Road to Isfahan 

1 66 

valley was in places very narrow, with precipitous rocks overhanging the 
river, and we had some difficulty in making our way along it. 

“ The ruins of Susan, of which I was in search, were on the opposite 
bank of the Karun. ... I succeeded in gaining the opposite bank with- 
out accident. I rode through extensive ricefields, crossed an ancient bed 
of the river now dry, and came to a number of natural mounds, one of 
which had been scarped, and had apparently at some former period been 
surrounded by a ditch. . . . On the summit there were some remains of 
buildings. The so-called tomb of Daniel was not far distant, at the foot 
of the mountains which bound the valley of Susan to the north. I found 
it to be a modern building. . . . I was greatly disappointed. . . . How- 
ever, the tradition that Daniel is buried there may be of very ancient 
origin. There is no doubt that throughout the mountains of Luristan 
the tomb of the Prophet is believed to be covered by the shrine I have 
described. That the place and valley should be known as Su-san or 
Shushan may add some weight to the tradition. . . . But I was still 
resolved, now that I had reached Susan, to examine the remains which 
were reported to exist there. . . . After crossing the numerous swampy 
ricefields we came to the Karun, and continued along its banks until we 
reached a narrow gorge in the mountains, through which the river issues 
into the valley of Susan. About a mile within this gorge, in a small open 
space, I found the ruins of what was called the masjid, or temple. There 
was nothing above ground to show that an edifice of any importance had 
ever stood there — no columns or dressed stones ; not even a mound ; only 
some rough masonry, apparently the foundations of a building of the 
Sasanian period. These remains were, however, known to the Lars as the 
Masjid-i-Suleiman — the temple of Solomon. At a short distance beyond 
them were the ruins of a bridge, of which four massive buttresses still 
resisted the force of the torrent. The river must have been crossed at a 
considerable height above the level of the stream by a single arch of great 
span, which was connected with the sides of the ravine by two smaller 
arches. I could trace on both banks an ancient paved causeway, a con- 
tinuation, no doubt, of the road that I had seen in the valley of Susan. It 
was known as Ja-dah-i-Atabeg, or Road of the Atabegs, to whom its con- 
struction was attributed by the Lars, but it was evidently a much more 
ancient work, possibly of the time of the Kayanian Kings, and the remains 
of one of the great highways, which in the time of Darius led from the 
plains of Susiana to the highlands of Persia and to Persiopolis. I traced 
it subsequently in many places between Malamir and Shushtar. 

“ The bridge had been partly built of large roughly hewn stones, and 
partly of kiln-burnt bricks, united by tenacious cement. ... It was 
evident that it was a very ancient structure, not later than the Sasanian 
period, and probably very much earlier. . , . The plfice was called by 
the Bakhtiari ‘ Pa-i-Rah ’ — i.e., foot of the road. ... It was only on the 
following morning . . . that I heard for the first time that there was an 
inscription carved on the rocks near the Pa-i-Rah. I was told that it was 
in the writing of the Farargi, and only three or four lines in length. He 
was not able to visit it. On his return journey he passed, near the river- 
bank, foundations of buildings, remains of ancient walls and other ruins, 
which were known to the Bakhtiari as Mal-i-Wairan (the ruined abode). 

. . . The masonry of these was of rounded stones from the river, charac- 
teristic of the Sasanian period.” 

To this vivid narrative the present writer need only add 
that he followed Layard’s route to Susan in 1908, passing just 
south of and below the Kaleh Gazhdimak, crossing the Kuh- 

The Road to Isfahan 

i-Gulgird at 5,500 feet — 7^ miles from Malamir, by a road 
which showed traces of having been carefully constructed 
in former — probably Sasanian — times, halting at Sar 
Chashmeh-i-Talao (2,500 feet), 14 miles, and reaching 
Susan through the Patoi valley at 22 miles, but failed to 
visit Pa-i-Rah. From Susan roads lead west to Chila over 
the hill of that name (3 farsakhs) and by the same route to 
Ira (6 farsakhs) ; a footpath to Chila runs through the 
gorge to the Karun past the ruined bridge. North of the 
river roads lead to Kaleh Ba-zuft from Susan and from 
the old bridge-head. The latter route is known as Ab-bid, 
and is popular with tribes on their annual migrations from 
Malamir northwards ; Susan, like Malamir, is the hereditary 
property of the Dinaruni (Duraki) branch of the Haftlang 

There can be little doubt that the tradition of Daniel’s 
tomb at Susan is based solely on the accidental similarity of 
the name of the place with that of Susa. Neither the 
location of the ruins nor their extent justifies the belief that 
it was ever a place of more than local importance. 

(To be concluded^ 




The Economic Development of India. By Vera Anstey. 

{Longmans.) 25s. net. 

{Reviewed by Sir Alfred Chatterton.) 

A characteristic feature of the present age is the growing recognition of 
the importance of economic studies due to a widespread appreciation of 
the necessity for accurate information regarding the complex forces, the 
combined action of which has produced our modern civilization. The 
science of Political Economy was built up during the period of the indus- 
trial revolution in England and was based largely upon the dominance 
of the economic motive. The French physiocrats first enunciated the 
doctrine of freedom of trade, which was developed by Adam Smith and 
accepted by English manufacturers as the gospel of efficiency of pro- 
duction. In less progressive countries its effects were minutely analyzed, 
and List in Germany showed that its universal operation would relegate 
backward communities to perpetual economic dependence, and w'ould 
deprive them of opportunities to create a diversity of occupations essential 
to healthy national development. His arguments were accepted in the 
United States, and were influential in determining the strongly protective 
attitude there adopted. Sheltered by adequate tariff walls, the Americans 
have utilized their vast natural resources to transform a nation almost 
entirely dependent on agriculture into the foremost manufacturing country 
of the world. Similarly in Europe an almost equally imposing indus- 
trialization has been brought about, and the unquestioned industrial 
supremacy which we enjoyed during the Victorian era has ceased to exist. 
British administration in India was naturally governed by the prevailing 
ideas of free trade and laissez-faire, and they were entirely accepted by 
the earlier generation of Indians, who had received a Western education 
and had studied political economy from the works of Adam Smith, Mill, 
and others. The first dissentient note was struck by Mr. Justice Ranade 
in Bombay, and from his time onwards there has groyn up a school of 
political thought favourable to the imposition of tariffs both for revenue 
and the protection of local industrial efforts. The Swadeshi movement 
excited interest in economic inquiries, and the special problems of India 
have been investigated with ever-increasing acumen and knowledge. A 
very extensive literature on the subject has been produced both from the 
British and the Indian point of view. Currency questions, industries, 
agriculture, tariffs, and taxation have all been examined by Royal or 
Indian Commissions and voluminous reports issued. Innumerable mono- 
graphs and reports on special subjects have been prepared by committees 
and individuals, so that it is now a serious matter for the administrative 
officer or the politician to keep in touch with the progress of thought and 
action in these matters. 

Reviews and Notices 


“ The Economic Development of India,” by Mrs. Anstey, who is a 
lecturer on Indian Economics at the London School of Economics and 
Political Science, is therefore to be welcomed as presenting, within the 
compass of a single volume, a well-balanced and lucid survey of the 
present position. Mrs. Anstey worked for seven years in Bombay with 
her husband, who was Principal of the Sydenham College of Commerce, 
and has therefore been able to bring to her self-appointed task an intimate 
acquaintance with Indian life and a judicious sympathy with Indian 
aspirations. The book is admirably documented and authorities given 
for almost every statement of fact, whilst its value to the student is 
enhanced by the selected statistical tables and the very complete biblio- 
graphy. Dealing with problems the subject of much, and sometimes 
bitter, controversy, Mrs. Anstey has succeeded in presenting a very fair 
and impartial account of British control of economic developments during 
a period when its own statesmen had but a very imperfect conception of 
the potential resources of India, and, biassed by the obvious advantages 
of ‘‘free trade” in their own country, could not divest themselves of 
the idea that it was equally suited to conditions diametrically different. 
The famine commissions of the latter part of the nineteenth century 
first drew attention to the too great preponderance of agriculture in the 
economic structure, and recommended that measures should be inaugurated 
to promote a diversity of industries. But it was only slowly that the 
official attitude changed, influenced largely by the evidence of growing 
private enterprise on the part of the people of the country. Behind the 
feeble efforts of Swadeshi there was a sound natural instinct which 
unfortunately evoked ridicule rather than sympathy and assistance, and 
thus engendered bitterness of feeling that has increased rather than 
diminished with lapse of time. Nevertheless from Lord Curzon’s vice- 
royalty onwards the Government of India and the Provincial Govern- 
ments have displayed increasing interest in the promotion of industries 
which is generally, but very grudgingly, acknowledged by Indian leaders. 
Every important phase of the various movements and enterprises started 
during the last quarter of a century is succinctly described and com- 
mented upon by Mrs. Anstey, and generally with a clearness of vision 
and grasp of essentials that renders her conclusions of great value. 
W riting of the present position, she says : ‘ ‘ What is needed is a really 
comprehensive policy, co-ordinated Avith the policy adopted in other 
economic spheres. The Government should take a long view and prepare 
far-reaching schemes — for instance, for the provision of motive power, 
the training of technical labour, the utilization of by-products, and for 
the filling in of industrial gaps. Such Avork should be centrally con- 
trolled. ... A great increase in expenditure upon industrial stimula- 
tion Avould, like expenditure on agriculture and on public health, in the 
end prove extremely productive. In particular, financial aid is necessary 
for investigations on a scale Avhich no private individual could undertake.” 
The Government of India, since 1919, Avhen industries became a trans- 
ferred subject, has, however, very restricted poAvers and is without the 
organization to enable it to frame a broad and effective industrial policy 


Revieivs and Notices 

which will take full cognizance of world movements and of the conflicting 
claims of widely divergent interests. The whole situation needs examin- 
ing with expert knowledge to ascertain what measures are feasible to 
promote new industries based upon the still unutilized natural resources. 
Faced with the highly organized giant industries of the West, and open, 
through its ports and the railways diverging from them, to sea-borne 
penetration, the economic weakness of India is strikingly apparent. In 
regard to protection. Mrs. Anstey comes to the conclusion “ that India 
has not yet attained a stage of development at which she can benefit 
from any extensir e application of protection, except at a very heavy cost 
to consumers in general.” and adds that India’s tariff system should 
aim primarily at revenue (and onlv in specific and extremely limited cases 
at protection), and that industrialization (and greater self-sufficiency) can 
best be promoted bv increased expenditure upon research, industrial and 
technical training, the collection and distribution of information, the 
promotion of improved methods of marketing, and upon the improvement 
of transport and communications.” A relentless economic struggle 
between the leading nations of the world is in progress, and it will 
develop in intensity in the immediate future ; yet India, still practising 
a medieval system of agriculture and with an extremely inadequate indus- 
trial equipment, is totally unprovided with a central staff to study the 
situation and formulate plans. 

Perhaps of greatest interest is the final chapter, in which Mrs. Anstey 
formulates the conclusions she has arrived at regarding the economic 
outlook. In her opinion, there is no reason why. from considerations 
purely material and technical, a rapid advance should not be made, but 
that in the absence of fundamental social reorganization it will not occur. 
Admitting that in recent years the condition of the labouring classes has 
undoubtedly improved, although the poverty of the masses is still a byword 
throughout the world, she states that the general prosperity in India 
can never be rapidly or substantially increased so long as any increase in 
the income of individuals is absorbed, not by a rise in the standard of 
life, but by an increase in the population.” The social customs and 
religious obligations tend towards over-population, improvidence, lack 
of enterprise, and a poor standard of mental and physical development, 
particularly in the of women ; and till the people can be induced to 
accept fundamental changes in their outlook on life, there is no possibility 
of any marked improvement in their physical well-being. A second 
obstacle to progress is the uneconomic outlook of the people, which is 
probably due to the prevalence of static social ideals, reinforced bv the 
apathy consequent upon belief in the doctrine of Karma. Labour 
in general certainly doe.-, not respond to higher wages for increased 
output, but that is entirely due to lack of education and consequent 
inability to incur extra mental effort. Lastly, Mrs. Anstey considers that 
the absence of co-operation between the Government anrl the governed is 
a third obstacle to economic progress, and there is much force in her 
contention that ‘‘ many of India’s most pressing present-day economic 
problems are due to this political connection (with the British F.mpire), 

Reviews arid Notices 


and the Government ought therefore to assume at least part responsibility 
for finding a solution.” 

From time immemorial the people of India have always looked to the 
State for guidance and help, and the experience of nearly a century of 
free scope for private enterprise has by no means altered their outlook. 
The Provincial Departments of Industries are a popular concession to 
the almost universal opinion that it is incumbent upon the Government 
to formulate a policv and provide means whereby it may be carried out. 
The vacillation and feeble enterprise which has characterized the working 
of these Departments during the post-war period is due less to financial 
stringency than to inexperience on the part of the controlling authorities, 
who have been changed with disastrous frequency to suit the exigencies 
of provincial administration. In this connection it may be pointed out 
that the recommendations of the Industrial Commission in regard to the 
qualifications of the superior staff and the field from which they should 
be recruited have been neglected. 

The only great mass movement initiated by Government for the 
amelioration of the condition of the people is the attempt to deal with 
rural indebtedness by the establishment of co-operative credit societies. 
It is twenty-five years since the first Act was passed in the Imperial 

Legislature, and Mrs. Anstey may be congratulated on her excellent 

summary of the work which has been done. In her own words : “In 
certain respects the movement has achieved much. It has instilled a new 
spirit of hope, thrift, and mutual help into the minds of members, and 
ardent and regular honorary workers for co-operative principles have 
been recruited from among all classes of society.” And again : “ Never- 
theless, it is true that expansion has been slow and that it is likely to 

remain slow for many years to come. Indeed, it can be said that the 

achievements of co-operation so far, though qualitatively great, have been 
qualitatively very small in reference to potentialities ” ; finally, her con- 
clusion is that “ further progress depends not so much on official efforts 
as on non-official support, general economic progress, and the spread and 
improvement of general education.” Closer contact with actualities 
would probably suggest a slightly less roseate view of the situation, 
especially in relation to the working of non-credit societies, whilst drastic 
action is necessary in some areas to prevent discredit of the principles on 
which the whole movement is based. 

In the chapter on “ industrial and commercial organization ” the 
system of managing agencies comes in for some severe criticism, and 
whilst its advantages are fairly stated it seems unwise to discredit a 
peculiarly Indian institution which has, by a gradual process of evolution, 
grown up to meet the glaring scarcity of trained and experienced business 
men. That it is open to abuse and in some instances has been abused 
is not to be denied. Moreover, there is a tendency to overgrowth which 
must inevitably end in inefficiency, but meanwhile there is little hope 
that unassociated companies working on a comparatively small scale will 
be able to command the whole-time services of a competent managing 
staff. Experience of the working of the Tata Industrial Bank on its 


Reviews and Notices 

industrial side clearly indicated the strength of the managing agents and 
their ability and willingness to finance approved industrial ventures. 
Still, there is no doubt they are somewhat conservative in their industrial 
policy and display a less enterprising spirit than is desirable, considering 
the extent to which they have mobilized the business resources of the 
country. The time may come when the system will be no longer needed, 
and it may be presumed that it will then disappear. 

To conclude, this book may be recommended to all students of Indian 
economics who want to obtain a concise account, free from racial bias, 
of the complex problems which must be solved if India is ever to take 
its place in the comity of nations on equal terms with the great nations 
of the West. Its vast area, its immense population, and its unique social 
system are elements of weakness which no magic formula, such as 
Dominion Status, will transform into sources of strength. Only by a 
necessarily slow process of education and social reconstruction will the 
desired end be reached, and that will only be possible by patient and 
steady co-operation of East and West. 

The White Mutiny. By Sir Alexander Cardew, k.c.s.i. (Constable.) 

12S. 6d. net. 

(Reviewed by Lieut. -General Sir George MacMunn.) 

It is to be doubted if any book dealing with any phase of the Indian 
Army has greater interest than this extremely live account of the extra- 
ordinary happenings in the Madras Army in the first decade of the last 
century. Then practically the whole of the officer cadre of the Army of 
Fort St. George — in other words, the Coast or Madras Army, including 
the Company’s Europeans—joined in a definite plot to compel the 
Honourable Company to relieve them of certain disabilities and 
grievances, and actually suborned their men to follow them. Not only 
that, they actually marched brigades from their stations in pursuit of 
their scheme, and in one case brought their sepoys into collision with a 
party of H.M. 25th Light Dragoons and Mysore Horse, in which two 
of the mutinous white officers lost their lives and a good many of their 
men. The rank and file of the Company’s Europeans also sided 
boisterously with their officers. Sir Alexander Cardew has told the story 
as it has never been told before, with a charm and an interest that makes 
the book an addition to the table of certainly every officer of the Army 
and every student of the Indian Empire in the making. Nor is it w'ithout 
value to treasury and finance officials and to administrators who would 
realize that armies in peace time are very live concerns that react to any 
unjust and thoughtless act. There is more than one Adjutant-General of 
the Army in India in recent times who could tell stories of measures of 
retrenchment proposed void of justice and common sense that if accepted 
and promulgated might have tried loyalty very highly. 

Yet the story of the “ White Mutiny ” — a name applied in more 
recent days to the mutiny of the European forces of the Company 
immediately after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, on their thoughtless 

Reviews and Notices 


transfer to the Crown without bounty — was not based on any definite 
act that could rightly be considered as any sort of justification for the 
outbreak and the cabal. A concatenation of circumstances that gave rise 
to the trouble are clearly described. Sir George Barlow was Governor 
of Madras, the same who had been the “ golden-haired boy ” to the 
Marquis Wellesley, and an intimate sharer in his plans and visions of a 
British India on the Mogul ruins. To his strength of character in 
resisting all plans to give way to insolent demands of corps in arms, 
when even men like John Malcolm thought surrender the lesser evil. Sir 
Alexander pays full tribute, while deprecating Colonel Malcolm’s share 
as unworthy. Barlow' had temporarily held the Governor-Generalship 
when Lord Cornwallis had died suddenly, and in spite of his Wellesley 
tradition had carried out the peremptory orders for retrenchment that 
Cornwallis had been sent to initiate; and he came to Madras with an 
evil odour in the opinion of Bengal. He was also a man whose outward 
manner was cold and reserved, and he had none of that force of character 
mingled with bonhomie which could gain the confidence of a disgruntled 
cadre. The Madras Army, indeed the whole of the Indian Army, had 
lately been increased out of all knowledge to meet new conditions. The 
Regular system had been introduced, and a full complement of officers 
on the British model had been given to every battalion and regiment. 
The cadre, hastily swollen, had not settled down to a spirit of loyal 
tradition and was wanting in sufficient seniors brought up in such tradition. 
Many hardships had been removed, pensions and leave rules that were 
generous had been introduced, but there were still grievances on the 
subject of allowances and pickings, some reasonable, some the contrary, 
and especially regarding supersession by “ King’s ” officers. The 
Commander-in-Chief in Madras, General Hay MacDowall of the King’s 
Service, not only had a grievance — his ex-o-fficio seat in the Governor’s 
Council having been abolished by the Court of Directors — but could not 
but talk of it to all and sundry in most improper terms, eventually 
resigning his command, though, as it happened, the Court were admitting 
his protest. This conduct added to the discontent of the Army with their 
civil rulers. The Quartermaster-General, Lieut. -Colonel Munro, in a 
confidential memorandum to his chief, had explained how certain 
allowances did operate too favourably to officers and against the State. 
This memorandum, a perfectly reasonable one, was published. The Army 
vowed itself insulted and demanded that he be brought to trial. His 
Chief incontinently and illogically put him under arrest. The Governor 
ordered his release, and the whole Army, including its- commander, took 
sides. Malcolm, already becoming famous, was sent to one of the larger 
garrisons to report and apparently lost his nerve. Things went from 
bad to worse, and only the Governor kept his head. What happened 
and how it all ended must be read in the “ White Mutiny,” and no story 
was better worth telling with judgment a century and more after its 


Reviews and Notices 

The Spirit OF Buddhism. By Sir Hari Singh Gour. {Luzac.) 

{Rcvini’cd by A. L. Saunders.) 

This masterly study, or series of studies, by a leading Indian statesman 
and man of letters, of the great religion and civilization of Eastern Asia, 
will in all probability take rank for many years, if not permanently, as 
the foremost authority on the subject. Xo other work on Buddhism speaks 
with anything like the same completeness and comprehension. Sir Hari 
Singh has exceptional qualifications for the task, not only as a profound 
thinker and widely read theologian, but, as he says himself, as an Asiatic, 
an Indian, and a Hindu. He is of Buddha’s own Kshattriya clan, and 
he can speak with the understanding derived from a kindred faith without 
the restraint of subscription imposed on a believer. He can write with 
full appreciation of the profundity of the Buddhist intellectual concep- 
tions and the exalted spirituality of its teaching without losing the critical 
acumen so many writers on Buddhism lack. Sir Hari Singh makes a 
point of the first importance, one often unrecognized by European writers, 
in emphasizing the fact that Buddhism is an aspect of Hinduism, not a 
distinct and independent religion. While it was for centuries predominant 
it did not attempt to supersede the older faith. Xo one knows how it 
died out, but it is fairly obvious, if only by comparison of dates, that its 
disappearance was connected with the coming of Islam. Meanwhile it 
had spread to and become the governing culture through Northern and 
Eastern Asia and in Ceylon. It penetrated also to Western Asia, but 
fell back before Christianity. This course of events is not so hard to 
understand if we compare it with the later and modern development of 
Christianity itself. What Buddhism was to Brahmanism, Protestantism 
was to Catholicism, a political, social, moral and intellectual revolt which 
threatened to submerge completely the older creed. Then it stagnated, 
and revolutionary unbelief, like Islam in the East, came to supersede it 
in its turn, and in doing so to give new life to the Catholic culture. To 
make the parallel more complete, Protestantism established itself in 
Northern America, as Buddhism in Northern Asia, and is there taking 
stronger root and developing more and more diverging forms. As in 
politics, so in religion, there is never permanently room for three parties. 

Sir Hari Singh gives us the conventional life of Buddha, based on the 
Lalita Vistara of the third century b.c.. the Mahaparinirvana of about 
the same time, and the much later Buddha Charita of Asvaghosha. 
“The art of the historiographer,” he says, “is wholly unknown in 
India ” (it would be more exact to say in Hindu India), and these lives 
are a conglomeration of tradition and romance, of possible events and 
impossible fancy. This is obvious enough ; the royal and mir.aculous 
births, palaces and jewels and beautiful princesses, adoring angels and 
tempting demons, transfiguration, assumption of godhead, final ascension 
and glorification — all these belong to a different realm of thought from 
history. Sometimes we seem to see peaks of historical fact jutting out 
above the flood of myth. Buddha cast off wife and family, he spoke 
faithfully with kings, he built up an absolutely submissive order, he 
suppressed heresy and schism. “ The smallest minutiae of the order 

Reviews and Notices 


could not be settled without reference to him.” There are sculptured 
portraits — one is given facing page 188 — which depict a man of stern 
temper and iron will, very different from the bland inanity of the con- 
ventional Buddha. Lastly, we have the saying ascribed to the disciple 
Subhadra on Buddha’s death. “ Thank God, he’s gone,” said, in effect, 
this outspoken follower j “ what a relief ! At last we can call our souls 
our own.” This outburst of Subhadra’s, one suspects, gives us more of 
the real human Buddha than is found in the whole of the Tripitaka. 

We have the same historical difficulty in dealing with Buddha’s ethics 
and metaphysics. The Buddhist perspective is terribly flattened. A 
mass of parables, moralities, and doctrines covering the longest known 
stretch of human history, and the greatest division of the human race 
is ascribed in block to the master personally. It is out of the question 
that he could have delivered himself of more than a fraction of these 
pronouncements. One fact speaks for itself, the recurring numerical 
arrangement. Even more than in the scholastic Christian theology, the 
Buddha’s dicta are asserted in numerical categories. That cannot be 
original. An inspired teacher with a message to deliver to the world 
does not express it in fours and sevens and tens. The volcano does not 
spout forth its lava ready hewn into building blocks. Of course some 
of the teaching ascribed to Buddha, the general lines perhaps, must be 
really his. There are positive directions which are among the great 
achievements of the human soul. Love and justice to all men, the 
avoidance of war, no distinction of classes, no separate priesthood, 
equality of the sexes, kindness to animals, and complete toleration of all 
religions — these may w'ell be the Master’s very own. Of the last two, 
indeed, we may be sure. Kindness to animals is over and over again 
ascribed to him in Buddhist story. It is a lesson imperfectly taught in 
other religions. The other great moral is not taught at all. Religious 
strife and persecution have formed the great blot on Christianity and, 
to a rather less extent, on Islam. They are not quite eradicated to this 
day. Buddha delivered half the human race from this curse ; that alone 
is a nobler memorial than siu-pa or vihara. 

The philosophical side of Buddha’s teaching is admirably summarized 
on pages 105, 106 of Sir Hari Singh’s book. His “ enlightenment,” 
which may or may not have been a sudden revelation, showed the whole 
chart of life before him. “ The root-cause of human suffering was 
desire, desire rooted in selfishness, and its salve was a life of self-denial. 
That was all he then learnt and that was all he ever strove to teach.” 
To this ideal one cannot deny nobility, though it seems to miss the 
altruistic note of Christianity, the ideal of effort, even of strife, in what 
is believed to be the cause of God. Renunciation is the key-note of 
Buddhism. The cessation of existence is the cure of all human ills. 
This is undeniably true, but recalls an irreverent quotation from 
“ Pickwick ” about the father who cut off his little boy’s head to cure 
him of toothache. In the doctrine of Nirvana the same antinomy con- 
stantly recurs. It is not entire negation of existence, yet without such 
negation there cannot be complete elimination of suffering and sin. 

176 Reviews and Notices 

Sir Hari Singh’s chapters on Buddhism and Christianity, Buddhism 
and Modern Thought, and Buddhism and Progress, are studies of great 
and enduring value. In dealing with Christianity he discusses the 
question of one revelation borrowing from the other, and compares the 
ethics of the two, finding a vast field in common. As there are, on either 
side, thousands of years and hundreds of millions of human beings to 
consider, and as both creeds, especially Christianity, have diverged and 
developed extensively from their founders’ teaching, it is extremely 
difficult to find a formula to summarize the comparison adequately. In 
the case of Christianity is easy to contrast the gentle, submissive 
unworldliness of the Gospel teaching with the pugnacious and money- 
making civilization w'hich bears the Christian name, but similar oppositions 
can be found in Buddhism. It had its great age of missionary proselytism. 
and some of its peoples have shown themselves as warlike as Christians. 
Indeed, it looks as if we were on the eve of a recrudescence of Mongol 
militarism. The West taught Japan to wage war, and has regretted it. 
She may prove to have done the same with China. 

Sir Hari Singh gives an interesting sketch of the political, commercial, 
and intellectual intercourse between Buddhist India and the Western 
world. As he says, there was more of this than is generally supposed. 
The centuries of the culmination of Buddhism and formation of 
Christianity, say from the third century b.c. to the second a.d., were 
the ages when, owing mainly to the conquests of Alexander and h'- 
successors, Asia Minor and Persia were the pivot countries of civilization. 
Christianity appears to have borrowed largely from Buddhism, even if 
the numerous similarities of belief are likely to have been taken from 
the common stock of supernatural tradition. Buddha has been canonized 
by the Catholic Church as St. Josaphat (Bodhisat). The resemblances 
of ritual and ceremonies have long been familiar to travellers. 

The political side of a religion is usually the least noticed. Buddha 
overthrew, temporarily at any rate, the throttling supremacy of the 
Brahmans. His faith was, therefore, like Protestantism, welcomed by 
lay rulers. He democratized the priesthood, opening it to all castes and 
classes. His religious orders were not to hold authority, but to be the 
power behind the throne, to form a unifying cement between classes and 
states. Such in theory was the Catholic priesthood, such are to be the 
Fascists of Italy and the Bolsheviks of Russia. The Buddhist brother- 
hoods did this work. In China they did it so efficiently that 150 warring 
states were merged into an enduring unity, and hundreds of millions of 
people lost knowledge of and inclination for war even under a corrupt 
and inefficient government. Much the same happened in India and 
elsewhere. But a non-professional priesthood tends to professionalize. 
Buddhist monks became more sacerdotal than the priests, though they 
have not lost all their moral efficiency yet. 

It would take too long to examine in detail the metaphysics of 
Buddhism. Probably little of it is Buddha’s own. The philosophical 
contemplation of ascetic dreamers for many centuries has flowered into 
multitudinous abstractions of immense profundity and nebulous un- 

Reviews and Notices 


practicality. The problems, Sir Hari Singh says, remain the same ; the 
solutions show no advance. Eastern metaphysics have suffered from 
detachment from physical science and history. Christian theology has 
had its quarrels and its reconciliations with science ; it has never ignored 
it as Buddhism has done. That ascetic practices induce enlightenment 
is a feature of many creeds, but Buddhism and Hinduism elaborate the 
principle most of all. It is worth noting that Buddhist metaphysics is 
mainly the work of Indian and Cingalese thought ; the F ar East has 
contributed little. 

The book is a credit to the publishers. It is handsomely produced 
and illustrated, and the type is pleasant to read, though there are 
occasional misprints. The Christian and Sikh populations of India are 
given on page 220 as forty-seven and thirty-two millions (“ those damned 
dots ” again), and the speed of light is stated as 18,000 miles a second. 
Sir Hari Singh makes some changes in the usually accepted translitera- 
tions. Such established spellings as “Buddha ” and “ Asoka ” are 
surely best left alone, though the general advantages of his amendments 
may be admitted. 

The Dilemma in India. By Sir Reginald Craddock, g.c.i.e., k.c.s.i. 

{Constable.) 153. net. 

{Reviewed by Sir Patrick Fagan.) 

The appearance of this remarkable volume was well timed, though its 
distinguished author can scarcely have anticipated that its publication 
would be so quickly followed by an “ Indian Crisis,” to use the term which 
the Press has applied to the recent Viceregal pronouncement regarding 
Dominion status, and to its immediate consequences. That event has 
served to demonstrate more clearly than before, if indeed such a demon- 
stration was required, the need for a reasoned presentation of the Indian 
problem which shall maintain the closest possible touch with the live 
realities of India while avoiding the dense mirage of assumption, of hypo- 
thesis and of pure fiction with which unreflective idealism, both in England 
and in India, has overlaid and obscured the actually existent conditions 
and limitations of the problem ; conditions and limitations which, so far as 
at present appears, must be immensely prolonged, if not indeed permanent. 

The work under review very admirably meets the need indicated. It is 
from cover to cover replete with facts, which form the basis for deductions 
prompted by sound and practical common sense. It may be hoped that 
the atmosphere of strenuous striving for right and justice, of deep and 
abiding sympathy with the toiling masses of the Indian peasantry, which per- 
vades the book will to some extent at least disarm the prejudice with which 
the utterances of the ex-official are apt to be received in certain quarters. 
Had the author restricted himself to a cold, dispassionate, and purely 
scientific catalogue of facts, while leaving his readers to draw their own 
conclusions, the book might have been more acceptable to the radical 
idealist ; but in that form it would have been far less effective in dispelling 
the mist of misconception which surrounds the knotted mass of problems 



Reviews and Notices 

which at present confronts India. The author has rightly preferred to 
plunge directly into the conflict, combining destructive criticism, firmly 
based on realities, with constructive suggestions. 

In a brief review it is impossible to deal in any detail with the varied 
contents of the book. The tangled threads of the “Dilemma ’’are un- 
ravelled and exhibited in their intricate relations with admirable clarity, 
while the situation which emerges is very skilfully expounded in Chapters 
XXVI. to XXIX., the last of these being perhaps the crucial point of the 
work. It is well that the fundamental inconsistency of the present political 
position in India and of the current and prospective schemes of constitu- 
tional reform — namely, that not a single section of the Indian population 
either believes in or desires democracy — should be so clearly set forth. All 
Indian belief and practice, social, moral, religious and intellectual, consti- 
tute in combination a patent negation of the fundamental conditions of 
democracy as understood and postulated by the intellectual democrat of 
the West. 

So far indeed is India from being democratic and from any stirring of 
that fervour for material and social progress which is an inseparable 
characteristic of truly democratic institutions that her great glory, according 
to many of her more enthusiastic admirers and champions, is that during 
the course of ages she has, in brilliant contrast to the more material West, 
deliberately turned away from the siren allurements of such progress, while 
content to find the goal of aspiration in static contemplation of the things 
of the spirit in a pantheistic universe and under the shelter of a rigidly con- 
servative social and political system. Mahatma Gandhi and his followers 
apparently desire that the mind of India should permanently retain such an 
attitude. That may or may not be for her ultimate good, but in any case 
it is hardly compatible with political progress on truly democratic lines. 

The conversation reproduced in Appendix IV., a comic farrago ot 
inconsistencies and impracticabilities propounded apparently in all serious- 
ness, is by no means the least valuable part of the book, throwing as it 
does a clear light on the mentality and political discernment of an Indian 
thinker and student. 

Sir Reginald Craddock has rendered a valuable service in drawing atten- 
tion in Chapter XXX. to the moral right to influence and authority which 
Britain has acquired by the indisputable fact that she, and she alone, has 
been the creator of modern India ; the rescuer and improver of an estate, 
politically derelict and chaotic, which has passed to her during the last 
century and a half. This is an aspect of the Indian problem which is 
only too often treated with total neglect in this country as well as in 

The author’s constructive proposals are contained in Chapter XXXI. 
As regards details, they are admittedly tentative and in need of further 
elaboration. In principle they are undoubtedly sound in seeking to sub- 
stitute for the cult of the politician, framed on up-to-date Western lines, as 
introduced by the current reform scheme, a system which shall in reality 
place the Government in close touch with such sound, reasonable and 
articulate public opinion as at present exists in India, by means of assem- 

Reviews and Notices 


blies constituted of appropriately chosen representatives of the widely 
divergent interests, classes and peoples which form the vast population of 
the sub-continent. Such diversity it is which, while quite inadequately, 
if indeed at all, recognized by the Constitution which has been in force 
since 1921, renders the task of framing a really suitable representative 
system for India so immensely difficult. The inevitable intricacy of the 
proposals put forward by the author, as indeed of any other set of proposals 
which, while retaining his fundamental objectives, could be substituted for 
them, puts the difficulty in a clear light. 

The suggestion for the creation of a Durbar of the Indian Empire is 
statesmanlike. It will doubtless excite the most vehement opposition on 
the part of some advanced Indian politicians ; but there can be no question 
that a body constituted on some such lines as the author proposes would 
be very much in accord with Oriental sentiment and would place the Central 
Government in effective touch with valuable currents of Indian opinion 
which under present conditions cannot, or perhaps more often dare not, 
make themselves felt in face of the clamour of irresponsible politicians 
and journalists. 

Sir Reginald Craddock has rendered a very valuable public service in 
writing this excellent work on the Indian problem. It is fervently to be 
hoped that it will be very widely read and pondered ; and more especially 
by all those who directly or indirectly will be called upon in the near future 
to bear the responsibility of deciding the momentous question of the course 
which Indian development, political and other, is to follow hereafter. 

Hindu Exogamy : A Systematic Study of Hindu Marriage Out- 
side THE Gotra. By S. V. Karandikar. (Bombay : D. B. 
Taraporevala and Sons.) Rs. 6 net. 

The author is an able anthropologist, and appears to have studied 
European literature on sociology to great advantage. Mr. Karandikar has 
a distinctly vast knowledge of Sanskrit texts, and has collected his material 
from them, but not one-sidedly ; in fact, he has moulded the passages 
referring to exogamy with his experience of modern Hindu social life into 
one compact volume, which is at once scholarly and yet easily digestible. 
Sanskrit sources are frequently quoted in footnotes, and references to 
European writers are not wanting. 

This monograph is an excellent study of Hindu marriage from ancient 
to modern times. 

The Remaking of Village India, being the Second Edition of “Village 
Uplift in India.” By F. L. Brayne. (Oxford University Press.) 
3s. 6d. net. 

Over five thousand copies of the first edition have been sold within a 
year. If this has convinced Indian economists and people at large of the 
soundness of the author’s proposals, there is no reason why another such 
number of a revised and enlarged edition should not be disposed of within 
the next year. It is an altogether notable book on account of the sug- 
gestions which the author makes for raising the standard of living in the 


Reviews and Notices 

Indian village. Readers of the Asiatic Review are of course conversant 
with the author’s plan, but this book reproduces his views in a very handy 
form. A fine lesson can here be taken to heart : our object is not to 
make rich but to make happy. The author shows the people how to 
do it, and, it may be added, the advice does not refer to India alone, but 
to the world at large. 

Socrates in an Indian Village. By F. L. Brayne. Illustrated. 

1929. {Oxford University Press.) 7s. 6d. net. 

The author of “ Village Uplift in India” has now compiled another 
book on the same subject. This time he uses a conversational form 
between Socrates, the master, and the Village as pupil. It is a novel 
form, which should go a long way to make the topic easy to the reader and 
entertaining. Socrates is a grand man and a village “ general,” as he 
is about to cure all village evils — for instance, the position which the 
woman holds, the uncleanliness which is a common thing in the rural 
districts, the wrong way of farming, and many others. It is indeed a very 
sympathetic way in which the author or “doctor” treats his patients ; he 
does not wish for any other fee except that they take his advice joyfully 
and soon. 

A Woman of India, Saroj Nalini. By G. S. Dutt, i.c.s. {Hogarth 

Press.) 4s. 6d. net. 

{Reviewed by Mary E. R. Martin.) 

Within the last few months many books have been published dealing 
especially with Indian political affairs, but very few of them have con- 
tributed anything of value to our knowledge of social conditions in India. 
It is very gratifying therefore to find a book from which some information 
can be obtained as to the position of women in India — a subject which 
has raised so much controversy in recent times. All who are acquainted 
with ancient thought and literature will agree that in the past her women 
have been distinguished for their proficiency in the liberal arts and have 
maintained the best traditions of Aryan culture. It is important, there- 
fore, to investigate the real condition of women in India at the present 
time, in order to ascertain how far they have benefited from interaction 
with the West in carrying to a perfect consummation the ideals of the 
past. In the work under review Mr. Dutt tells us the life story of his 
wife in an enthusiastic and unaffected manner. At the present time 
it is only too true that Indian women do not come forward in large 
numbers to attempt the social regeneration of their own sex, and it is 
particularly interesting to read of one who had the courage to do so. 
It is evident that, when the deadening effects of the Purdah system are 
once thrown off, Indian women will be ready to take their share in the 
activities of everyday life. We may therefore expect to see an ever- 
increasing number preparing to follow the example of Saroj Nalini. 
Mr. Dutt tells us that this admirable Bengali lady combined in herself 
some of the best qualities to be found in Indian womanhood, and shows 
how those gifts, aided by a liberal education, fitted her to perform the 

Reviews and Notices i8i 

particular tasks she undertook, the importance of which had been 
gradually borne in upon her. The development of Saroj Nalini’s 
character is well described in the chapters dealing with her childhood, 
early youth, and married life. She was a devoted wife and mother. 

Not the least valuable of Saroj Nalini’s activities for the w'elfare of 
others was her connection with the Samitis, or Women’s Institutes, 
established in the several towns where her husband had been stationed as 
District Collector. The Samitis were attended by groups of Bengali 
women who gradually realized the value of the instruction imparted to 
them by Saroj Narini. This included the promotion of village indus- 
tries, the training of mothers in the art of bringing up healthy children 
and in teaching them simple rules of hygiene and other domestic subjects. 
We are not aware, or at least we are not told, whether any similar social 
schemes had been previously inaugurated by other Bengali ladies outside 
Calcutta, and, in the absence of such information, we gladly accord to 
Saroj Nalini the credit of having initiated the Samiii movement. It was 
a great delight to her on a visit to England to find how much the English 
Institutes resembled those already established in India. Towmrds the 
end of her life she also took an active part in the Calcutta League of 
Women, which was afterwards merged in the Bengal Council of Women, 
her co-operation being much appreciated by her fellow-w'orkers. How- 
ever, Saroj Nalini wdll be remembered chiefly for her beneficent activities 
around Calcutta, where she spared no pains to promote the social and 
educational welfare of the poorer women. Her w’ork will continue to 
prosper if rightly guided, and her husband’s efforts in connection with 
the Central Association, founded in her memory to establish additional 
Institutes in Bengal, will no doubt continue to bear fruit if his country- 
women will heartily set themselves to support his ambitious schemes. 

It is a matter for regret that no index is added, though, owdng to its 
small size, the omission is not of any very great importance, the headings 
of the chapters forming a sufficient guide to readers, wEo will find this 
book useful for the study of social service in Bengal. 


Afghanistan from Darius to Amanullah. By Lieut. -General Sir 
George MacMunn. (G. Bell and Sons.) 21s. net. 

(Reviewed by Sir A. Hamilton Grant.) 

To those — and there are many — w'ho are still wondering why on earth 
such fuss was made over the deposed King Amanullah and his attractive 
consort during their visit to Europe two years ago. Sir George MacMunn’s 
vivid story of Afghanistan gives a luminous answer. 

This is the first comprehensive history of that wild country that has 
been written. It presents a carefully connected account of the events, 
inroads, intermixture of races, and political developments that have led 
to the situation on the North-West Frontier of our Indian Empire as it 
is today. 

i 82 

Reviews and Notices 

The turgid welter of highlands that surge up from the Oxus to the 
Indian border forms a country bigger than France. It lies against the one 
uncovered shoulder of India j it has been the pathway of land invasions 
from time immemorial ; it lies between two great Powers — Russia on the 
north and Britain to the south; it was the stopping-point of Russia’s 
expansion ; Herat is, and always has been, the gate of India. Indeed, 
Afghanistan itself is geographically, politically, and ethnographically an 
integral part of India. It is on this side that Britain, with her vast 
interests in the East, is most vulnerable. Can it be wondered, then, that 
our statesmen and military advisers have attached paramount importance 
to the developments in this quarter? Whether strong or weak, friendly 
or unfriendly, we have deep concern in this difficult neighbour. 

We find in this volume a fascinating panorama of the changes and 
chances that have swept over these mountains, leaving curious racial 
survivals in the pockets of the hills. Through the mists of the distant 
ages we glimpse the leisurely inroad of the Aryans, the amazing march 
of Alexander the Great, the relics of the civilization left by the settlers 
from his armies, the rise of Islam, with its series of militant champions — 
Sabuktagin, Mahmud of Ghazni, and all the kings who rode to Delhi 
on their blood-stained quest. Then we see the appearance of the Moguls 
— who were really Turks — and the consolidation and decay of their 
power. Next we are shown Nadir Shah, the coolie conqueror from 
Persia, followed by his adjutant Ahmad Shah, the Afghan, the first of 
the Duranis — and so to the ill-fated Shah Shufah. It is here at the 
beginning of the last century that the British connection with Afghan 
politics becomes for the first time intimate and serious. The ambitions 
of Napoleon and the designs of Russia first emphasized our vulnerability 
on this side. The whole political and strategic position came under 
review, and as a consequence we embarked on the extraordinary adventure 
of the First Afghan War. With our modern ideas of transport and com- 
missariat, it seems almost incredible that a large force, with a larger 
following, without adequate feeding arrangements, and without a single 
mile of railway in the whole country, should have been despatched on a 
1,200 mile treck over deserts and through mountains to replace an exiled 
king on the throne of a virile and warlike people. The amazing thing is 
that this was actually accomplished. The subsequent debacle is another 
story. It is beyond the scope of this review to criticize exhaustively 
either the policy or the manner in which it was carried out. But this 
much may be said. It was obviously imperative that Britain, holding 
the position in India that had gradually become hers, should sooner 
or later enter into very definite relations with Afghanistan and safeguard 
herself on that side. Possibly Lord Aukland’s venture was premature, 
but it was based on a broad view of the eventual political necessities. 
As regards the carrying out of the scheme, a lot of mud has been thrown 
at the unhappy Macnaghten ; but it w’ould be rash to pass judgment on 
his conduct of this strange business without a very much more careful 
review of the facts than is here possible. 

The adventure ended in the disaster of 1840, followed by the retrieving 

Reviews and Notices 


of British honour by General Pollock and his avenging army. The 
fugitive Dost Muhammad became Amir and was accepted by the British 
Government. In 1855 he came to Peshawar and met Lord Lawrence, and 
made an agreement of friendship — an agreement destined to be of para- 
mount importance to us a little later. For acting in loyalty to this pact, 
Dost Muhammad restrained his people, straining at the leash, from 
swooping down to participate in our discomfiture in the dark days of the 
Mutiny of 1857. 

The Dost was succeeded by his son Amir Shere Ali, and relations 
were fairly satisfactory until in 1878 the Russians, as a counter-move 
to our attitude in the Russo-Turkish War, sent an envoy to Kabul. Yet 
again fear of Russia forced us into drastic action in Afghanistan. A 
British Mission was despatched. It was refused admission to the Khaiber 
Pass ; an army was at once collected and hurried northward ; the 
Khaiber was forced, and Jelalabad was taken. Amir Shere Ali fled 
from Kabul, as did the Russian Envoy, and died in the North, friendless 
and deserted. His son Yakub Khan succeeded him, and promptly sub- 
mitted and accepted our terms in the Treaty of Gardamak. One of the 
provisions of this Treaty was that a British Representative should be 
admitted to Kabul. The brilliant Major Cavagnari was selected for the 
post, but before many days were past he was brutally murdered at 
Kabul with his staff and escort by a senseless mob. This led to the 
second phase of the war ; to Lord Roberts’s brilliant successes both at 
Kabul and subsequently at Kandahar, and to the eventual acceptance 
by Britain of the great, if ruthless, Abdur Rahman as Amir. The story 
of his consolidation of his kingdom is the story of a hard man dealing 
with a hard people. So successful, however, were his methods that he 
left to his son Habibullah an unquestioned succession and an easy 
leign, until the entry of Turkey into the Great War produced a situation 
of the most acute difficulty. But Amir Habibullah was true to his 
engagements, and managed through stormy days to keep his country 
neutral to the end — and then he was murdered, a martyr to his own good 
faith to us. Had Afghanistan during the Great War come in against 
us, followed, as was inevitable, by every tribe on the North-West Frontier, 
one does not like to contemplate the consequences. This would have 
altered the whole position and turned India from a valuable asset into 
an embarrassing liability. Sufficient credit has not been given to Amir 
Habibullah for this stupendous feat of loyalty to his word ; or to the 
Government of India for their skilful handling of a most delicate 
situation, thereby enabling the Amir to carry out his engagements. 
Remembering the fidelity of Amirs Dost Muhammad and Habibullah at 
the most criticial points in the history of the Indian Empire, one cannot 
but regret that Sir George MacMunn has laid such stress on the traditional 
perfidy of the Afghan. He reiterates the phrase, ^‘Afghan, Afghan-, 
be-iman, be-iman,” even as a tiresome member of Council during the 
peace discussions at Simla at the end of the Third Afghan War used to 
keep on repeating the catchword from Kipling “ Trust a snake before 
a harlot and a harlot before an Afghan.” This allegation of perfidy 


Reviews and Notices 

has, generally with justice, been made by almost every nation at one 
time or another against its neighbour. 

The story of Amanullah’s succession, of the crazy war in which he got 
himself involved at the very start of his reign, of the energy of his rule, 
of his spectacular visit to Europe, of the catastrophe of his reforming 
zeal on his return, is all too recent, too near us to be subjected to the 
dispassionate review of the historian. 

The war, known as the Third Afghan War, was the result of an 
accumulation of world forces, especially the pent-up ira religiosa in regard 
to Turkey. It was one of the aftermaths of the Great War, and, though 
utterly unjustifiable, was much more intelligible than most people realize. 
Moreover, it was probably precipitated by a local commander without 
authority from Kabul, and might possibly, with temperate handling, have 
been averted. Had we had troops good in quality apart from quantity — 
above all, had we had adequate transport — it might have been finished 
in a few days by a rapid advance to Jelalabad. As it was, owing to 
many disadvantages this was impossible, and a futile war dragged on. 
It does not, however, deserve the somewhat detailed notice given it bv 
Sir George MacMunn, who might perhaps have given a fuller account of 
the relations established with the Amir both immediately at Rawalpindi 
and later at Mussooree. It is a pity indeed that Sir George has not 
thought fit to include an appendix giving the text of all the various 
treaties, agreements, and engagements made from time to time between 
Britain and Afghanistan. They are of small compass, and they throw 
an interesting light on the history of our relations with Afghanistan. But 
this is a small point ; and we are none the less grateful to Sir George 
MacMunn for giving us such a charming narrative of Afghanistan through 
the ages. The book is excellently arranged, and should appeal not only 
to the student and the politician, but to every intelligent subject of the 
Crown both here and in the Dominions beyond the seas. He has helped 
very materially to the understanding of a romantic country, a virile people, 
and a momentous world problem. 

On Alexander’s Track to the Indus. By Sir Aurel Stein, k.c.i.e. 

{Macmilla?i.) is. net. 

{Reviewed by Harihar Das) 

In this most interesting book Sir Aurel Stein, probably the greatest 
Asiatic explorer of our time, introduces us to a region lying west of the 
Indus, outside the borders of the North-Western Frontier hitherto inac- 
cessible to Europeans. The expedition was carried out under the ^gis 
of the Government of India and with the advice of experienced British 
officials who were well acquainted with the political conditions of that part 
of the country, but the author would have been unable to achieve so fully 
his purpose without the generous help and co-operation accorded him by 
the Wali of Swat, Miangul Abdul Wahab Gul-Shahzada Sahib. The 
exploration was directed mainly to objects of archaeological and geographi- 
cal interest, but historians will surely admit that the valuable know- 

Reviews and Notices 185 

ledge thus gained will greatly further their researches. That small region, 
through which Alexander entered India, was destined to prove of greater 
interest to Sir Aurel than any of the other tracts hitherto explored by him. 
Carefully and painfully he followed the path of the great Macedonian 
through that “ region so far as it is at present accessible outside Afghani- 
stan.” We are given an account of its past history, and shown how in very 
early ages it was the scene of an invasion from Iran, and how, even at a 
more remote period, its valleys had witnessed a conflict between an Aryan 
chief and the border tribes. At a much later date the country was on the 
trade route of merchants from Europe and also became the vantage ground 
of the great conquerors of India. To Alexander himself we owe the 
beginning and the continuance of Hellenistic influence in India. He 
had colonized Bactria with Greeks, and her princes “ ruled on both 
sides of the Indus during a couple of centuries and there kept the door 
open for influences derived from the classical West.” These influences 
are apparent in the “ fine Greek-modelled coins of those rulers and in 
those sculptures of Grasco-Buddhist art which the ruined Buddhist shrines 
of the Swat and Peshawar valleys have preserved for us.” These are still 
to be found in great abundance, covering the long period down to the 
tenth century a.d., which includes the reigns of the Indo-Greek, Indo- 
Parthian, and Indo-Scythian kings, as well as the dynasties of the Kushan 
and the Hindu Shahi sovereigns. Sir Aurel emphasizes the fact that the 
influences of Buddhism, Graeco-Buddhist art, and Indian literary culture 
spread from the north-western borderland, not through India herself, but 
northward through Central Asia into China. This is undoubtedly “ India’s 
greatest contribution to the civilization of mankind in general.” It 
certainly seems very remarkable that the fame of the numerous Buddhist 
monasteries, hidden away in those remote valleys, should by some means 
have spread into China and have inspired devout pilgrims to undertake 
long and dangerous journeys for the purpose of worshipping within those 
sacred enclosures. The author rightly points out the historic import- 
ance of those pilgrimages ; to them we owe the true sources of authentic 
information concerning the period which witnessed the decay of the Indo- 
Scythian empire. It was at a later time that Buddhism began to decay 
and the system of Hindu worship revived till the latter was finally destroyed 
by the Islamic invasion under Mahmud of Ghazna. The border tribes 
disputed the possession of their country with the conquerors of Northern 
India, and the great Mughal emperor, Babar, spent many years of his reign 
in continual warfare with the Pathan tribes. In recent times the tribes of 
the Swat valleys owe their regained independence to the wise spiritual 
leadership of Akhund, grandfather of the present ruler, and subsequently, 
with the assistance of the British Raj, peace and order have been 

Saidu is the capital of Upper Swat and the hereditary seat of the 
Badshah, who has proved a worthy successor to his holy ancestor. He has 
travelled widely and has thus been able to study at first hand the general 
trend of political conditions in various countries. He takes a practical 
interest in the improvement of agriculture and has introduced “ useful 

Reviews and Notices 

1 86 

agricultural implements and materials for safe transport of produce.” At 
the same time he has not neglected precautions for the safety of the 
district ; towers have been built round the city in strategic positions and a 
gun factory has also been established. Nor has he been unmindful of the 
education of his subjects, having established a secondary school at his 

The main object, however, of Sir Aurel’s exploration was the identifica- 
tion of the exact site of Aornos, the famous rock on PIr-sar, the scene of 
Alexander’s great exploit and of his treachery in obtaining possession of an 
almost inacessible spot. The situation of Aornos renders Alexander’s 
exploit all the more remarkable. The marshalling of the forces and the 
transport of the implements of war to be used against the gallant defenders 
must ever be accounted among the greatest deeds of warfare. Whether or 
not Alexander ascribed his victory to the intervention of the gods, Arrian 
and Curtius both relate that, as an act of thanksgiving, he offered sacrifices 
to the gods, Minerva and Victory, after the battle was won. Sir Aurel’s 
assertion that there is no trace in Indian literature or tradition of 
Alexander’s victorious invasion has already been pointed out by Vincent 
Smith, who wrote in “ The Early History of India ” that “ no Indian 
author, Hindu, Buddhist (or) Jain, makes even the faintest allusion to 
Alexander or his deeds.” It is regrettable that Indian literature should be 
so silent with regard to that remarkable fact in Indian history, but 
possibly some information may yet be discovered in ancient manuscripts. 

The success attending the general survey of these regions is attributed 
by Sir Aurel to the skilled assistance of the Afridi surveyor attached to the 
expedition, and it is doubtful whether any future explorer will be able to 
throw any additional light on the topography of those parts. After leaving 
Pir-sar Sir Aurel stayed a few days at Chakesar, well known for its 
theological learning, Muslim students coming from many parts, even from 
beyond the border, to “ this quaint semblance of a small medieval 

This volume bears witness that its author is an indefatigable traveller 
and a shrewd observer of mankind. On account of his keen sympathy and 
intimate understanding of the various people he met he was well received 
everywhere and the Khans bestowed upon him unbounded hospitality. 
Sir Aurel is besides a true lover of nature, and his descriptions are rendered 
all the more vivid by his witty and graphic delineations of local conditions. 
He has contributed a fascinating chapter to the history of Buddhistic 
archaeology for which all Orientals ought to be deeply grateful to him. 

We cannot conclude this review without a well-deserved tribute of praise 
to the publishers and to the printer. The numerous photographic illustra- 
tions add enormously to the value of the book, and their clearness of 
detail enable the reader to appreciate the scenery and to study the various 
types of the border races seen by the distinguished author. The two maps 
also give valuable topographical knowledge of the country traversed and 
the heights of the mountain ranges. The work retains its interest to the 
last page ; it is long since we have derived so much enjoyment from the 
perusal of a book of travel. 

Reviews and Notices 



Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago : Communica- 
tions Nos. 2 TO 5. {University of Chicago Press, 1927-29.) 

The Oriental Institute, well known for their fine work on Egyptology 
and Babylonian research, deserves great praise for issuing these com- 
munications. No. 2 contains “ Exploration in Hittite Asia Minor,” by 
H.H. von der Osten, wherein the author gives a fine account of the 
history and the country 01 the Hittites before entering on the archaeological 
finds on his first expedition. No. 3 contains the first report of the 
prehistoric survey expedition to the Nile Valley, by K. S. Sandford and 
W. J. Arkell, which advances considerably our knowledge in geology 
and with it in human development in that region. No. 4 has for its 
object the excavation of Armageddon, or Megiddo, of the Old Testament, 
compiled by Professor Clarence S. Fisher, also known as a profound 
Arabic scholar, w'ho gives us, besides the results of his excavations, a 
good account of the topography and history of Megiddo, of the organiza- 
tion of the expedition and methods of works. No. 5 informs us of the 
work done at Medinet Habu in Egypt during 1924-28, for which H.H. 
Nelson and V. Hoelscher are responsible. The final results wdll be made 
known through facsimiles of the reliefs and inscriptions and a volume of 
architectural details. 

All parts mentioned include a number of good illustrations as well as 
maps or plans. 

Islam : Beliefs and Institutions. By H. Lammens, s.j. {Methuen.) 
8s. 6d. net. 

The French edition of this latest work of Islam has met with universal 
praise, and Sir Denison Ross is to be congratulated upon bringing it, 
through his English translation, to a wider public. The volume is clear 
and concise, and it provides a thoroughly comprehensive survey of the 
religion and institutions laid down by the Prophet Muhammad, and more 
so of Islam as it appears today. All aspects are adequately dealt with, 
and there are, amongst others, chapters on Mysticism, Jurisprudence, 
and the Sects, and a final chapter on modern aspirations. A splendid 
bibliography of fourteen pages, arranged according to subjects, concludes 
this valuable book. Both the author and the translator are to be con- 
gratulated upon a work which will for a long time to come stand as one 
of the standard books on one of the world’s great religions. 


Tu Fu : The Autobiography of a Chinese Poet, a.d. 712-770. 
Arranged from his poems, and translated by Florence Ayscough. 
Vol. i., A.D. 712-754. With Maps, plans, and illustrations. 
{Jonathan Cape.) 21s. net. 

Only quite recently an edition of Tu Fu’s poems was published, and 
here we have one on a more ambitious scale. Mrs, Ayscough explains 


Reviews and Notices 

in the preface how these poems were translated by her and the great 
trouble taken in the proper mode of rendering the orginals. The choice 
fell upon a literal translation instead of one in metre and rhyme. 
Opinions are divided, but there seems no doubt that poetry becomes 
popular through rhyme, it is more pleasing to the ear, while literal transla- 
tions appeal more to the mind of the scholar. Let us state at once that 
Mrs. Ayscough has spared neither time nor trouble to carry out her inten- 
tion satisfactorily ; she has conferred with Chinese scholars as to the 
meanings of words and sentences. The renderings — not translations— by 
Mr. Cramer Byng have met with much approval on account of the correct 
and beautiful rhymes. Mrs. Ayscough has done her work thoroughly in 
giving a general discourse on the poems, then the translations of the poems, 
and further the life and times of Tu Fu culled from them. The work is 
rendered even more charming through the illustrations by a Chinese artist. 
There are at the end several valuable additions. First, a topographical 
note on the places where Tu Fu lived and worked; a year record of 
Tu Fu’s life and events pertaining thereto. We look forward with pleasure 
to the concluding volume. 

Tropisch Nederland (October, 1929). 

This popular, well-illustrated periodical continues its work of making us 
acquainted with “ Ordinary and Extraordinary Things in the East Indies.” 
In its present number it leaves us to decide in which category we choose 
to place such things as an unexpectedly fine motor road in the remote 
island of Flores and the primitive bamboo suspension bridge which carries 
it across a mountain torrent. Professor Nieuwenhuis deals with the myths 
of the Minahassa people of Celebes, whilst M. W. de Zwart takes us 
through the wild fascination of the Batak lands in Northern Sumatra. 

J. DE LA V. 


Marco Polo. From the Elizabethan translation of John Frampton. 

With Introduction, Notes, and Appendices. By N. M. Penzer, m.a. 

(Ttie Argonaut Press.) Two guineas. 

{Reviewed by L. F. Rushbrook Williams.) 

This sumptuous volume is creditable alike to the learning of Mr. Penzer 
and to the resources of the Argonaut Press ; indeed, the only criticism we 
have to make is that it will assuredly provoke, to the commission of one 
or all of the seven deadly sins, every impecunious bibliophile who may 
chance to catch a glimpse of it. 

Not without some justification, the publishers have described as “ the 
definitive ” edition. Yet the description may at any time be falsified, 
as a consideration of the complicated MS. derivation of the present text 
will easily demonstrate. The critical work of Professor Benedetto, to 
which Mr. Penzer pays high and deserved tribute, shows that the precious 
MS. in the Bibliotheque Nationale (fr. 1116), long known as the best 

Reviews and Notices 


text of Marco Polo’s book, is itself but the descendant of an unknown 
archetype, which archetype was not, in all probability, Polo’s own 
dictation, but the composition, on the basis of Polo’s information, of 
Rustichello, the romantic novelist. Benedetto gives further reason for 
believing that most of the known MSS. can be related, not to this 
Bibliotheque Nationale MS. (F), but to slightly different brother- 
versions, all connected with the same archetype as F, which he denotes 
as F^, F^, F^. These are respectively the ancestors of the Gregoire, 
Tuscan, and Venetian recensions. The most striking discovery of the 
Italian savant is, however, the definite proof of the existence of an 
“ ante-F ” phase, evidence for which exists in his newly discovered Z, 
corresponding to the Ghisi codex mentioned by Ramusio, “ the Italian 
Hakluyt,” and in long known MS. representing subgroups related to it. 
The MS. upon which John Frampton’s translation, here printed, is based, 
belongs to a Venetian recension deriving from F^, which recension was 
done into Castilian by Rodrigo Fernandez de Santaella y Cordoba in 
1503. And since we may at any time be so fortunate as to discover a 
MS. throwing more light than we possess at present upon the whole 
ante-F phase, it is not wholly correct to put forth this volume as 
“ definitive.” That is not Mr. Penzer’s fault. In the existing state of 
our knowledge there is nothing more that can be done. It is true that 
fr. 1 1 16 is probably better as a base than the Venetian recension upon 
which Santaella’s Castilian text is founded ; but the unique interest of 
an Elizabethan translation, of which only three copies exist, will con- 
stitute sufficient palliative in the eyes of all English scholars. His careful 
extracts from Ramusio, printed as Appendix II., enable us to reconstruct 
within a single volume all that for the present can be discovered of the 
ante-F phase. 

Mr. Penzer has employed, with the utmost learning and patience, the 
latest work and discoveries of modern explorers, in order to throw light 
upon the journeys of Marco Polo. He has provided us with eleven 
entirely new maps, and, with the help of scholars whose assistance he 
acknowledges in generous terms, has cleared up many knotty problems 
and has corrected many venerable errors. His notes are models alike of 
scholarship and of compression, possessing the valuable quality of 
illuminating, and not of smothering, the text. We heartily commend his 
plan of relegating the apparatus criticus to introduction and appendices, 
thereby permitting the reader to enjoy unhampered the delightful 
Elizbethan pages of John Frampton, unmarred by references and 

A notable volume ; but, let us repeat, an incitement in those who do 
not possess it to ” envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness ” against 
those who do. 

Reviews and Notices 



Le Roman de Genji. Par Murasaki Shikibon. Traduit par Kikou 
Lamata. (Librairie Plan.) 

La Porte. Par Matsume Soseki. Traduit par R. Martinie. {Lcs 
Editions Rieder!) 

{Reviewed by Mrs. Veronique Coldstream). 

The work of Lady Murasaki is already well known to English readers in 
Mr. Waley’s beautiful translation which has admittedly served as a basis 
for the present translation into French, in which it has lost none of its 
elaborate, sophisticated, ceremonious delicacy. But this new rendering in 
yet another European tongue is a welcome addition to the World’s Library. 
The work of Matsume Soseki — of which the translation has appeared 
almost simultaneously — is separated from the antique novel by almost a 
thousand years, and it would therefore perhaps be a somewhat futile task 
to attempt to find any common national characteristic. Yet there does 
seem to be one, though it may be merely a coincidence. Readers of “ The 
Tale of Genji ” may remember that, exquisitely told as it is, the hero’s life 
seems to be one long series of love affairs, generally inconsequent and lead- 
ing nowhere. The enormous romance seems to have no connecting thread 
of significance. There is the same inconclusiveness, the same inconse- 
quence, but in a far more marked degree, in the modern novel. There is 
practically no plot and such incidents as occur seem to have been hardly 
worth relating, since they appear to have little point in themselves, less 
bearing upon each other and very little psychological value. The conversa- 
tions between the characters break off before they reach any important 
point. True the chief character in the novel is described as incapable of 
decisive action, but the quality seems not only inherent in him but in his 
author also. Indeed, this pervading indecision and procrastination gives 
the whole book a flavour of futility, surprising to Western minds, accustomed 
to consider the Japanese as the most practical and progressive of Oriental 

Matsume Soseki achieved considerable renown in his own country before 
his death in 1916. “ La Porte ” is one of his later works and belongs to 

the period of his maturity and popularity. A student of English literature, 
he shows little of the influence of his studies. His method of telling his 
story is curiously involved, including long parenthetical chapters explaining 
previous events, an indirect technique which we in England have learnt 
to consider awkward, but which in this novel is so pronounced that it seems 
to have been adopted intentionally. The author is credited with “ an 
acute sense of the comic and was the first avowedly humorous writer of 
Japan. He shows little of this in “La Porte,” but on the other hand 
betrays a seriousness in his elaboration of any subject which commands 
attention, and makes it impossible for his writing to be dismissed lightly. 
In the common affairs of every day he shows also a talent for psychological 
analysis, although this does not seem to go very deep. The picture he 
gives us of Japan is a little disappointing in its bourgeois, westernized 
drabness. It is a Japan of tram-lines, advertisements and mass-production. 

Reviews and Notices 


with, though one may hesitate to say it, few of the virtues generally entailed 
by these things ; of that rich and ceremonious civilization of the eleventh 
century in which the practice of the minor arts was part of the equipment 
of every person of culture, the civilization of which Lady Murasaki has 
given her world so enduring and complete a picture, not a trace, not a 
breath of influence, remains. 

Paroles d’ Action. By Marshal Lyautey. (Paris : Armand Colin.) 

As in politics and war, so also in the colonial field, France has been 
fortunate during the last decades in finding among her sons men of 
commanding genius at times of crisis. One need only mention Poincar6 
and Clemenceau, Joffre and Foch, and, in the subject dealt with in this 
volume, Gallieni and Lyautey. If the author’s achievements in Tonkin, 
Madagascar, and Morocco belong to history, he has also, like so many 
French men of action, been able to wield a ready pen — and his first 
literary effort, published in the Revue des Deux Mondes soon after the war 
of 1870, was a plea that the officer had, besides the learning of his 
profession, another important duty to perform, and that was his “ social 
role ” among his men. It was an article that was destined to become 
famous. Later he published his letters from Tonkin and Madagascar in 
which he explains the colonizing methods of his great teacher and friend 
Gallieni. The present volume reproduces the speeches Lyautey delivered 
from the year 1900 onwards in Madagascar, Oran, Morocco, and France, 
and reveals the guiding principles of this great administrator. He has now 
set himself one more task, to organize the Colonial Exhibition which is to 
be opened in Paris in 1931. It will be recalled that he paid an official 
visit to London recently to seek the participation of the British Empire in 
what promises to be a very notable event. 


Four Miles from Any Town, and Other Verses. By David Gow. 

{Cecil Palmer.) 3s. 6d. net. 

{Reviewed by John Caldwell-Johnston.) 

Mr. David Gow is, of course, the editor of Light, the psychic journal, 
and is well known in psychical research circles. The present is the first 
volume of his own collected poems, which have all appeared in various 
magazines and journals, and are now published mainly by the persuasions 
of many literary friends. 

On opening this slim volume one is irresistibly carried backward to a 
chance moment, when at a tram-stop in a noisy and somew'hat malodorous 
East End street one ivas saluted by the piercing sweet tones of a captive 
goldfinch, hung high in its tiny wooden cage over the heaped vegetable 
matter of a greengrocer’s shop. The pipes of Pan are to be heard in 
many strange places ; nevertheless one was amazed on the high peak of 
that London County Council tram to find oneself, as it were, breezily 
swinging from a supple thistle-top in a forty-acre field, four miles — or, 
for all one knew, four and forty miles — from Barking or any other town. 


Reviews and Notices 

David Gow is a poet whose verse holds at times curious echoes of the 
Far East, of the Chinese, and, more rarely, of the Japanese. But this 
is not imitation, nor is it conscious or even unconscious reminiscence. It 
is rather as though at some dim epoch in the past he had walked gravely 
through the garden temples of Nippon or of Han, and something of their 
musky Oriental perfume clung intangibly to his robes. But his work is 
English — or shall we say British ? — through and through, as British as 
the goldfinch, whose presentment nevertheless appears dimly on many an 
old painted Chinese scroll. 

The spirit of Mr. Gow’s fine work may perhaps best be summed up by 
the following excerpt from his sonnet “ The Wistfulness of Beauty ” : 

As held by life’s twin gaolers. Time and Space, 

Like prisoners scourged we sit and moan our scars. 

Till Beauty like a rose between the bars 
Peers in upon us with a sweet, shy face. 

So must it be, till in some far-off day 
The baffling walls that separate us now 
Shall, like the Temple’s mystic veil, be rent ; 

The cloud upon her face shall flee away. 

And sunshine dwell for ever on her brow — 

Then shall we kiss her lips and be content. 

The Third Route. By Sir Philip Sassoon. (H (inemann.) 15s. net. 

{Reviewed by A. L. Saunders.) 

The “ first route ” (from Western Europe to India) was that taken by 
Vasco da Gama round the Cape of Good Hope ; the second was that 
through Egypt, and though it has followed the Suez Canal since its 
construction, with one interval, the old name of “ the Overland route ” 
is still occasionally met with. The third is the one by air, taken and 
here described by Sir Philip Sassoon. Not only is it the speediest, but 
it is the shortest in distance, the most comfortable, avoiding as it does 
the Red Sea furnace, and it has the greatest attractions in scenery and 
history. The names of Sir Philip’s stages read like the unrolling oi the 
world pageant, Paris, the Tyrrhenian Coast and Sea, Naples, Etna, Cairo, 
the Nile, Palestine, Damascus, Ur, Nineveh, Babylon, Baghdad. Rajputana, 
Delhi. The story of such a flight can hardly fail to be interesting ; Sir 
Philip’s keen observation and vivid narrative make it fascinating. 
Particularly interesting are the notes on the Air Force’s dealings with 
the untamed raiders of various races of the Middle East — Beduins, 
Kurds, and Pathans. The photographs are admirable and tell us much 
of the buried cities of the past. It is a book which all, especially bovs, 
should read who would know something of the meaning of our Empire. 

Reviews and Notices 


The Age of the Gods: A Study in the Origin of Culture in 
Prehistoric Europe and the Ancient East. By Christopher 
Dawson. {John Mur rax. ^ iSs net. 

Numerous research-workers and archieologisls have during the past 
hundred years carried on almost silently their productive search into the 
mystery of earliest history. Mr. Dawson has, as his bibliography shows, 
consulted a great number of these authorities. Beginning with the (flacial 
Period, he gradually proceeds to the religion of the hunter, and of the 
peasant, until he arrives at the city state. As our civilization originates 
from the East, we naturally obtain a good insight into the culture of the 
Near East, and he has in fact presented an almost complete panorama of 
its gradual development. The latest discoveries in Sumeria, Egypt, and 
Crete are analyzed, the volume serving as a synopsis of what might well be 
made into a series, using each of his chapters as the basis for a separate 

History and Monuments of Ur. By C. J. Gai.ld. Illustrated. 19^9. 

{Chatto and Wind ns.) 15s. net. 

Only towards the middle of la^t century w.i.s this ancient citv re- 
discoNcred. and since then coiLstant excawitioiis and ex[)lorations hare 
been made, with the result the history of this citv — with which by 
tradition the birth of Abraham is connected — has now been laid open. 
No happier choice could have been made for the authorship of a volume 
on the subject than Mr. G.idd. who for some time past has been eng.iged 
on editing and preparing the lindings of these e.xcav.itions. 

The book opens with .111 .iccount of the prehistoric period and proceeds 
through the Sumerian and Semitic Kingdom until its de.struction bv the 
Persians. This is .in odti/o prinexps giving the fullest particulars, so 
far as it been iiossible to collect them, from existing di.scoverie.s. and 
for those wishing to pursue the study the author has quoted in .1 
bibliogr.iphy the references to those .luthorities who have contributed to 
the public.ition of their lafioiirs in this held. 

'J’he illustr.itinns —there .ire thirty-two plates — are verv clear .ind well 
produced, .mil should be .in additional .ittr.iction to a v.ilu.ible .ind timeh 

Sense in Sen and Other Stories of Indian By A. P. 

Panchapakesa Ayyar. (Bombay : Taruporevala and Sons.) Rs. 4. 

A collection of twelve stories dealing with Indian womanhood. The 
author, who had issued two volumes of Indian after-dinner stories a few 
years back, can write very entertainingly. He assures us that they are 
characteristic of Indian life, and that the incidents have really happened. 
“Recovered Bliss” is an exceptionally good story, in which Akku, 
the wife, shows much devotion and faithfulness. 

VOL. -\X^■1. 





(1736— 1791) 

Bv Laxka Suxdaram, m.a., f.r.ecox.s.(loxd.) 

Satyalingam Scholar (London University) : Author ot "Cow Protection 
in India” and “Mughal Land Revenue System.” 

Ru.mboli) has an easier task in disposing of the Company’s 
haveli lands. It was in the nature of this royal demesne, 
so to speak, that, except where a particular renter was 
allowed to keep individual farms for a number of years, its 
disposal was not subject to a consideration of conllicting 
interests as in the case of the samindari lands. Everything 
depended upon a reasonably high bid from an individual 
who could give good security for the payment of the 
agreed rent. 

Proposals for renting these lands were called for when 
the zamtndars were ordered to Madras. The subordinate 
chiefs and councils, who considered the innovations to Sir 
Thomas Rumbold as at once derogatory to their prestige 
and detrimental to their personal interests, urged that their 
departure along with that of the other revenue officials 
would not only bring in fewer offers for the leases of the 
haveli lands, but also disturb their smooth management, j" 
The Secret Committee and the Court of Directors also 
held a similar view.:|: They found that three days after the 
receipt of the news that the Masulipatam zauiindars had 
set out to Madras the Madras Council ordered (July 15, 
1778) advertisements to be put up both at the Presidency 
and at the various centres in the Sarkars in English and 
Telugu calling for offers to rent the haveli for periods of 
five, eight, and ten years respectively, and this they su))- 
posed was calculated to injure the Company's revenues. 
But it should be noted here that these views were not 

* The previous papers have been published in the Asi.oic Rkview for 
January, April, and October, 1929. 

t See particularly “Masulipatam to Madras,” .May 3, 17 78; “Rev. 
Cons., May 15, vol. xx., pp. 186-256, wherein the Masulipatam consulta- 
tions w'ere fully copied. 

\ ‘Sec. Rep., p. it, and “ IMadras Dispatches,” January 10, 1781, 
para. 6, vol. ix., pp. 399-400. See also .-\ppendix No. 153 to “Sec 

Sir Thomas Rumbold 


grounded on a sound knowledge of the situation. For one 
thing, the zamitidars as a rule never stood forth as potential 
renters of the Company’s haveli, since they considered it 
beneath their dignity, even though exceptions were to be 
found occasionally, as in the case of the Vuyyur zamindar 
who enjoyed the rent of the Ellore haveli. Actually, the 
haveli \dinds were not let till x\ugust 10, 1779. clearly more 
than seven months after the zamindars and other persons 
who proceeded to Madras had returned to their respective 
homes.* Hence the condemnation of the Court of Directors 
on this account was demonstrably unnecessary and unjust. 

To clearly ascertain the actual value of the Masulipatam 
farms, a statement of the revenues for the past two years 
was called for by the Madras Council. t The interesting 
statement on the next page shows the position of the revenues 
from the Masulipatam farms, j; 

It will be seen that all the four farms which constituted 
the Masulipatam haveli were rented by members of the 
Masulipatam Council, and managed on their private account. 
The undesirable features of annual leases were patent on the 
surface. The Company were not sure of exactly what they 
would receive from these lands. The decline in the current 
jumma was as rapid as the increase in the balances due 
from the renters. Advances to the cultivators were not 
inconsiderable, but still an explanation of the growing- 
balances was not forthcoming from these accounts. To 
put it in a nutshell, the Masulipatam farms showed that 
the European renters were not the ideal persons for the 
management of the Company’s demesne. Sir Thomas was 
not slow' to recognize the evil effects of European manage- 
ment, and one of his first revenue measures was to revoke 
the permission given to the Company's servants to enter 
into private revenue business.^ 

In response to the advertisements, a considerable number 
of offers poured in for the rent of the Masulipatam farms. 
Rumbold submitted to his Council with remarkable clear- 
ness that “ there is scarcely one of the Hrms that have 
been now advertised, that is not in debt to the Company 

'I'he zamindars and renterb returned to their stations f)y about 
December, 177S. See Appendix No. 55 to the “Sec. Kep." 

t “ Madras to Masulipatam,” September 12, 177S, vol. xxi., pp. 620-621. 
; “ Masulipatam to Madras,” September 24 ; “ Rev. Cons.," October 2 ; 
idem., pp. 630-640. See also .-Appendix No. 49 to the “Sec. Rep.” 

S See “.Madras to ^'izagapatam,” April 3, 1778, vol. xxviii., pp. 125-130. 
See also “ Masulipatam to Madras,” May 3, forwarding their minutes of 
consultation, wherein they gave effect to this wise act of Rumbold ; 
idem., pp, 204-205. 

jLii'ATAM Ha[eii (in Madras Pacddas). 


Sir Thomas Kitmbo/d 

-r 10 O - 'C 

— 10 I O ^ 1 (N 

-r I I W 

-1-0 — '‘3 C3 

< U 

o o 

tri 10 

000 00 

000 00 

o Lr, U-i XT', LTV 
— CO — 

O O 
O O I 

r". o ' 

!>» r>. 


r>* !». r-- 

Sij' Thomas Rtimbold 


for balances from the old renters, who are most of them 
become bankrupts, and the number of responsible . . . 
people so few, that it encourages every needy adventurer 
to stand forth as a bidder trusting to accidents whether he 
shall be a gainer or loser by the farm he bids for ; if the 
latter, he is not in a much worse situation than when he 
first set out, and the government have nothing left but to 
inflict punishments that afford no recompence for the loss 
of revenue which can never be recovered. Nor is it 
sufficient that in several proposals mention is made of 
Soucar security without particularizing the Soucars ; for 
such is the state of public credit at present in the Carnatic 
and the Circars, that there are very few who are proper to 
be depended upon or whose security is worth accepting.”* 
On these grounds a higher bidder was ignored in favour of 
Lakshmi Narasimhulu, who was granted the lease of the 
four Masulipatam farms for a period of five years at the 
rate of a lakh of Madras a year ; and the Madras Govern- 
ment wrote home that they had adopted this course, as he 
was a person more to be depended upon than others, for his 
character, for the circumstance of his being resident in the 
Sarkars, and for the unquestionable security he had pro- 
duced.! The Court of Directors and the Secret Committee 
unnecessarily condemned this procedure, by which “the 
Company are in all probability deprived of 2,25,000 
rupees.”! But it should be noted here that Edward 
Cotsford, the Chief of Masulipatam, warmly approved this 
measure, which shows that the opinion of the authorities at 
home could not necessarily have been correct. § 

Rumbold’s analysis of the revenues of the Ichchapuram 
and Chicacole haveli lands is interesting in several ways. 
They were formerly valued at 1,47,548 a year. The 
collections amounted to only 97,907 in 1777-78 and 1,43,438 in 1778-79, while the civil and military 
charges, exclusive of the expenses of the Bengal detach- 
ments used to preserve order and secure the revenues, 
which were borne by the Bengal Government, were ex- 
orbitant. || The collections for 1777-78 comprised ; 

See Rumbold’s minute of August lo, 1779; Appendix No. 55 to 
the “ Sec. Rep.” 

t “Madras Letters Received” (Rev.), October 14, 1779, para. 6, 
vol. ix., pp. 470-471. See also Appendix No. 55, “Sec. Rep. 

I “Madras Dispatches,’’ January 10, 17S1, paras. 76-85, vol. ix., 
pp. 413-420, and Appendix No. 153 to “Sec. Rep.” 

§ “Cotsford to Rumbold,” August 19, 1779, in Rumbold, “Answer to 
Charges,” p. 37- _ 

II Rumbold’s minute in “Rev. Cons.,” July 29, 1779, vol. xxii., 
pp. 652-659. 


Sir Thomas Rum bold 

M.p' 5 . 

B.ilances due from 1770-75 


.. 1! 1776-77 • 

. . 52,936 

collections for 1777-7S 

• 44-115 



The collections for 1778-79 were a 

s follows T* 


Balances from 1770-76 


jj n ^ i t 7-76 - - • 


/aniahandi collections for 177S-79 


Total ... 


These hgures are significant enough. The millstone of 
the balances due from retired renters hung heavily round 
the necks of every subsequent renter, whose lease of the 
lands was conspicuously shortlived. Indeed, it was an 
unfortunate state of affairs when balances for the preceding 
decade were allowed to tell heavily upon the solvency and 
capability of a series of shortlived renters. This incubus 
discouraged any well- planned system of economy and im- 
provement of the Company’s haveli lands, while the lack of 
continuity of tenure resulted in meagre bids. On the other 
hand, successive renters administered the lands to their 
own advantage and passetl on the onus of their mis- 
management on to the shoulders of their successors, thus 
depriving the Company of their legitimate revenues. Only 
a system of continuity of management and unified control 
could have effectively checked these lluctuating and 
ephemeral rental conditions. Rumbold attempted this, 
but being ahead of the times, his measures were revoked 
by the Court of Directors. 

The Ganjam Council endeavoured to preclude the 
inquiries at Madras by Rumbold and his Council as to the 
actual state of revenues in the Ichchapuram and Chicacole 
districts under their jurisdiction. As has already been 
shown, the defalcations of the former rank among the worst 
of their kind ever detected in the administration of the 
Sarkars. f They further vainly attempted to defeat the 
orders of the Madras Government which rendered it 
obligatory on the part of the Company’s dubashes or inter- 
preters to repair to Madras with a view to facilitate the 
revenue inquiry and settlement designed to take place there. 
They were deliberately lukewarm in not urging upon Bala 
Krishna, the dttbas/i attached to the chiefship of Ganjam, to 

♦ Rumbold’s minute in “ Rev. Cons.,” August 6, vol. xxiii., pp. 4-20. 

t See ante. 

S 'u' Thomas Rumbold 


obey the order of the presidency. Madras was compelled 
to write to Ganjam that they ” cannot but disapprove of 
the countenance that he appears to have received from 
your Board durino- the whole course of this business, not 
only as it defeats the purposes which our instructions to you 
concerning it were calculated to promote, but lends to 
nourish a spirit of opposition to the authority of govern- 
ment, in those very persons who should, of all others, be 
most implicitly subservient to it. We trust they will be of 
sufficient weight to secure our orders from any further 
marks of inattention and that we shall hereafter e.xperience 
in you such an alteration of conduct as may justify in some 
degree our present forbearance. "* In reply to this, Ganjam 
solemnly declared that they had not either “ directly' or 
indirectly encouraged Ball Kistnah to disregard your 
orders.” + 

This explanation seemed to have satisfied the Madras 
Government at that time, but during the course of the later 
investigation into the conduct of Sir Thomas Rumbold. 
facts appeared which clearly revealed the manner in which 
members of the Ganjam Council, who were manifestly 
interested in the lease of the havali lands under their care, 
attempted to render the presidency’s orders nugatory'. In 
a letter from Madras, ^^r. Oakes, one of the members of 
the Ganjam Council, wrote to Bala Krishna : “ The dis- 
tance from Ganjam district is so great that I should not be 
surprized if the Rajahs would say [that] their country would 
go to ruin in their absence (as would in some measure be 
the case) and that they' had not money to undertake so 
expensive a journey, which I believe is also very' true ; and 
should this be the case, I imagine there would be no 
occasion for y'ou to come to Madras, because y'our presence 
could only be of use in case the Rajahs were to come down ; 
and if they will not, or cannot come, there will be but small 
collections if you leave jamjam {sic) ; therefore, Kistnah, I 
would recommend it to you, if the Rajahs do not leave the 
district, to stay where you are for the present until further 
orders. At all events, I recommend it to you to shew your 
attention to Mr. Smith’s business and pay to Mr. Maunsell 
immediately on his account the 5,000 [pagodas ?] you were 
to receive from Hautmaramj; as also the copper money ; 
likewise, as much of the balances due to him as possible. 

* “ Madras to Ganjam,” .\ugust 26, 1778, vol. 21, pp. 562-565. 

t Same to same, September 26, 1778 ; “ Rev. Cons.,” October 2, idem., 
pp. 626-629. 

j The name of a sahiikar. 


Sir Thomas Rumbold 

IVIr. Smith expects you will do all this ; he wishes to be 
your friend but he must see yon attend to his affairs ; he is 
in much interest and will be able to assist your business. ’* 
It will be interesting to observ'e here that Maunsell was 
chief of Ganjam a little previous to this letter, while Smith, 
himself a former chief, was on the Council at Madras. 
Further, all the three gentlemen concerned in this letter 
enjoyed at one time or other the rent of the havcli lands 
under Ganjam, and the members of the Ganjam Council 
actually offered higher bids for the rent of the same after 
the receipt of information that Bala Krishna, who subse- 
quently arrived at Madras, was one of the bidders for the 
lease of the same.f 

Dated May 15, 177S, in the possession of Sir Thomas Rumbold. 
See Appendix No. 10 to his “ Answer to Charges.” 

t See “Rev. Cons.,” July 29, 1779, vol. xxiii., pp. 644-653. 

{To be coiliinucd.) 




C opied from mu, ill oil ]iainling presented to Mrb. f. M. S. fioin Mi. K. B. l•',lllelo^l 



13.\C.GAC.,1J llhING CARKIliD Ul’STKUAM TO I.lC.llTlCN Tllli liOATS 

/<•/// /'I' “ ’Iro/nsih nh > land A m^t, j Hy pinni 



APRIL, 1930 

The views expressed in the pages of the ASIATIC REVIEW must be taken 
as those of the individual contributors. 


By Major-General His Highness the Maharaja 
Dhiraj of Patiala, g.c.s.i., g.c.i.e., g.c.v.o., 

G.B.E., A.D.C. 

{Chancellor of the Chamber') 

I BELIEVE it is generally agreed on all hands that the session 
of the Chamber of Princes which began on February 25 and 
ended on March i was the most important, as well as the 
most successful, that has so far been held. It was attended 
by fifty-two Ruling Princes and Chiefs, and the number of 
States represented at the meetings, informal and formal, 
was well in excess of one hundred and fifty. A noteworthy 
feature was the adherence of the greater States. The 
government of His Exalted Highness the Nizam was for 
the first time reoresented by a strong deputation of three 
members of his Cabinet ; Baroda and Kashmir were repre- 
sented by their respective Rulers in person. The Diwan 
of Mysore was not present at our deliberations, but gave 
some of us, and some of our Ministers, the benefit of his 
counsel and advice ; while the fact that the Gwalior Govern- 
ment, which is a minority administration, has lent to the 
Chamber the services of' Colonel Haksar for a period of 
two years, is ample testimony to the support, for which we 
have never looked in vain, from the State ruled by the 
House of Scindia. The smaller States, I am glad to notice, 
show no signs of weakening in their adherence to the 
Chamber. For a good many years it has been the policy 
of the Standing Committee to make these States feel that 
we have a real interest in their welfare ; that we are always 
prepared to fight their battles ; and that they have just as 
much right to participate in, and to benefit from, the plan 
of common action, as any or all of the more powerful units. 
In consequence, I think it may fairly be said that the 
Chamber of Princes has now established an incontrovertible 
claim to speak for the States as a whole throughout the 
wide range of matters that affect them all in common. 

I do not desire, within the compass of a short article, to 

210 The Recent Session of the Chamber of Princes 

deal in any detail with the work of the session ; but those 
who have followed the day-to-day proceedings as reported 
in the Press will probably be surprised by the number, as 
well as by the importance, of the topics covered by our 
deliberations. This increased expedition in the disposal 
of business is due, I think, in large degree to the evolution 
of machinery specially designed for this end. We have 
now established a permanent Chancellor’s Secretariat, with 
its own budget, its own full-time staff, and its own records — 
an innovation which not only contributes materially to 
relieving the Chancellor and the Standing Committee from 
the burden of routine work, but which also facilitates the 
rapid circulation of papers. At least equally important is 
another step which has been taken : and that is the establish- 
ment of a Standing Committee of Ministers, which assists 
the Standing Committee of Princes in every branch of the 
manifold responsibilities entrusted to them by the Chamber; 
prepares work for submission to the informal meetings held 
concurrently with the Chamber session ; thrashes out difficult 
questions of policy; and presents for the approval of the 
Princes clear-cut proposals and definite lines of procedure. 
Finally, and perhaps not less important than either of the 
other two institutions, is the Princes’ Special Organization, 
of which the Indian end is controlled by Colonel Haksar, 
with the assistance of certain other Ministers whose services 
the States concerned have generously placed at the disposal 
of the Chamber, while the English end is under the 
direction of Professor Rushbrook Williams. It will thus 
be seen that to aid and assist them during the difficult times 
through which India is now passing, the Standing Com- 
mittee of the Chamber can call upon three organizations, 
each working along its own line, but all carefully co- 
ordinated towards one common purpose, which is the 
vindication of the right of the Indian States to exercise 
that influence in the counsels of India and of the Empire 
to which their historic position and their political importance 
fully entitle them. 

The principal work of the session was to complete the 
edifice of reasoned criticism of the Butler Report. The 
foundations of this edifice had been well and truly laid at 
Bombay in June last year under the wise guidance of that 
experienced statesman His Highness the Maharaja of 
Bikaner. The opinions enunciated in Bombay, while 
avowedly tentative, had in point of fact been framed with 
such skill and wisdom that they formed the basis of all that 
we did in February, 1930. To those who think that our 
criticism was severe and over-strong, I would point out 

The Recent Session of the Chamber of Princes 211 

that until the Report of the Simon Commission is published, 
the Butler Report holds the field ; and deeming as we do 
that latter document to be superficial, self-contradictory, 
and conceived in a spirit of leaving things alone, it was 
incumbent upon us to give reasoned expression to our 
views. So far from resenting our plain speaking. His 
Excellency Lord Irwin showed an earnest desire to appre- 
ciate the position which we were taking up; and every 
Prince in the Chamber derived confidence and encourage- 
ment from his attitude. Well knowing as he does our 
unalterable attachment to the British connection, and our 
devotion to the person and throne of the King-Emperor, 
Lord Irwin plainly does not share the opinion of those who 
consider that frank criticism of some of the defects of the 
existing regime is an indication either of egotism or of 
disloyalty on the part of the Princes. Indeed, few Viceroys 
have done as much as Lord Irwin to win the confidence of 
the Indian Rulers, and to turn to active account the support 
which they are ever eager to lend to the King-Emperor’s 
representative. Our general attitude towards the Inde- 
pendence movement on the one hand, and towards the 
Round Table Conference on the other, will, I hope, con- 
vince even the most hostile of our critics that we attack the 
Butler Report because we believe that the conclusions 
therein enunciated are likely to weaken, rather than to 
strengthen, that link between India and Britain which it is 
our pride to constitute. 

The session as a whole provided a complete justification 
for the policy of publicity and openness which the Standing 
Committee has for the last few years deliberately adopted. 
Now that the Chamber no longer meets behind closed doors, 
the suspicion with which our deliberations were viewed by 
certain quarters in British India has been shown to be 
groundless. The admission of the Press and public to the 
galleries of the Chamber has aroused additional interest, 
and has enabled us to take our place among the active and 
recognized forces of Indian politics. One direct result has 
been the cultivation of friendly relations with the leaders 
of those parties in British India who, like ourselves, 
welcome the Round T able Conference and value the British 
connection. I have every hope that in the course of the 
summer these relations will be strengthened, so that the 
Indian States and the more sober elements of British India 
may work together on a common platform, to the confound- 
ing of the revolutionaries. Not the least important achieve- 
ment of our last session was our indication that we are 
ready to consider such a course. 



By H.H. THE Maharani, President of the Council of 
Regency of Gwalior 

[The interest that Her Highness takes in the education of Indian women 
was recently exemplified by a thoughtful address at a congress lately 
held at Gwalior.] 

There are so many obstacles in the path of higher or even 
secondary education of girls in India, that any perceptible 
measure of success achieved in this direction becomes an 
event for justifiable jubilation. And yet, withal, to quote 
Mr. Natarajan of the Indian Social Reformer, “ The educa- 
tion of a single girl means the uplifting of a whole family 
in a larger sense than the education of a single man.” 

It is indeed a hopeful sign of the times that the prejudice 
against the education of girls has vanished to a large extent. 
Parents have at last begun to realize the necessity of 
imparting education to their daughters, though not yet 
almost as much as to their sons. This is particularly 
noticeable in Maharashtra, where the cramping influence of 
Purdah and all that it implies does not exist. Purdah, a 
peculiar bane of Northern India, is also being rent asunder, 
and the light of learning is slowly and surely penetrating the 
Zenana. Maybe there are here and there impossible grand- 
mothers who still succeed in screening off that light from 
their granddaughters, but on the whole their influence is 
on the wane. The greatest of all obstacles, the early 
marriage of girls, is also a question which has of late 
loomed large in the programme of social reformers ; and 
the most notable result of their activities has been the 
recent enlightened legislation of the Government of India, 
Now that the movement of women’s emancipation has 
begun, it may be said with confidence that in fulness of time 
all these facts would vastly improve the state of affairs. 

But notwithstanding all this, there is yet a vast field for 
action lying ahead. There are still a thousand and one 
small prejudices which have to be removed and numerous 
other ills that have to be remedied. This, however, is not 
the occasion to discuss either those prejudices or ills, nor 
indeed do I feel myself qualified to undertake such a 
discussion, but shall confine myself to a superficial survey 
of these questions. 

Thoughts Oft Women’s Education in India 213 

In the first place a few words may be said regarding the 
present system of education. The outstanding feature of 
our schools and colleges for girls is that they are organized 
on the same plan as schools and colleges for boys, and 
consquently contain all the defects which characterize the 
latter institutions. The same “ examination fetish ” 
dominates both, and the pupils in either appreciate a 
U niversity certificate or diploma more than any practical or 
cultural course of studies. Our educational leaders not 
infrequently bemoan the system which specializes in the 
manufacture of clerks. 1 am not one of those who believe 
in a radical antagonism between males and females, but 
rather that the one is the complement of the other, and that 
the two together form, or should form, a harmonious whole, 
single in spirit, though diverse in bodies. Male nature 
and female nature have distinctive traits meant by Nature 
to supplement each other’s functions in life. Boys and 
girls, as social units and citizens, need a certain amount of 
education in common, while there are branches which might 
be the speciality of each. The girl of today is the potential 
mother of the future, and upon her will depend the happiness 
or otherwise of some home. Most women in India aspire 
to be mothers, and every woman gets her chance, unlike 
her sisters in Western countries. The craft of motherhood 
would thus be indicated as a speciality for woman. But 
although this is the highest type of craft known, the oppor- 
tunity has hardly been taken so far, probably for want of 
time, even to tell the girls what it is. But, thanks to the 
Sarda Bill, it is hoped that girls will now be able to remain 
longer in school, and thus have a chance of gaining some 
knowledge about this most difficult and sacred task, viz., 
that of the bringing up of the children. Professor Karve’s 
University for women is, in its own humble way, trying to 
meet these and similar other requirements by including 
domestic subjects in its curriculum, but even that would 
seem insufficient and inadequate, and one wishes that there 
were more schools which afforded facilities for training in 
these important subjects in addition to the ordinary stereo- 
typed courses of studies. The importance of training in 
these and other essentially feminine subjects cannot be too 
strongly emphasized. “The highest product of social 
evolution,” says an American educationist, “ is the growth 
of the civilized home, the home that only a wise, cultivated 
and high-minded woman can make.” To create such a 
woman, then, should be the first function of education. 

The examination fetish and the hustle which it necessarily 

214 Thoughts on Womens Edtuation in India 

involves is bad both for genuine culture and physical well- 
being, and the resulting strain has been admitted to be too 
much even in the case of boys. Is it not, therefore, highly 
undesirable to subject the future motherhood of the country 
to its wasting influence ? Would it not be a great pity if, 
for want of imagination on the part of the authorities, our 
girls should be allowed to emaciate themselves in the vain 
and often illusory quest of a University certificate? 

The purpose of all education is to impart culture and to 
prepare the pupil for the life to which he or she is by nature, 
inclination, and circumstances destined. And this should 
also be the aim of our educational system. An interesting 
ancedote may here be recalled. 

The famous Boswell once asked Dr. Johnson as to whether, 
if he had had any children, he would have taught them any- 
thing. Dr. Johnson in his characteristic style replied : “ I 
hope that I should have willingly lived on bread and water 
to obtain instruction for them ; but I would not have set their 
future friendship to hazard, for the sake of thrusting into 
their heads, knowledge of things, for which they might not 
perhaps have either taste or necessity. You teach your 
daughters the diameters of the planets, and wonder when 
you have done that that they do not delight in your 

Our prime concern, therefore, should be the suitability of 
the courses of instruction to the needs of the pupils, and the 
relating of their education to their lives. If we can accom- 
plish this and can further shake off the domination of the 
examination fetish, we are fairly near the solution of our 
problems, and have arrived at a stage when we can consider 
the feasibility of introducing a system of co-education in 
this country. 

In discussing co-education I may be treading on contro- 
versial ground, but I feel that I should be unfair to myself 
were I not to give my views upon the subject. The con- 
troversy over this question in Europe and America, and 
recently in this province, is well known. I believe in co- 
education of boys and girls, specially in colleges ; and 
though in a country of Purdah this may appear unsuitable, 
it has proved a great success wherever it has received a 
fair trial, and its dangers are rare and the benefits great. 
Much canting nonsense has been talked against the system, 
but, to quote an authority, “ the case for co-education can be 
put in a single sentence. If education, rightly conceived 
and practised, is some day to become one of the chief 
instruments for perfecting the relations between man and 

Thoughts on Women’s Education in India 


man, then co-education rightly conceived and practised will 
ensure the inclusion in that perfection of the relations 
between man and woman.” 

It is often said that a herding together of boys and girls 
cannot but produce evil results. Girls, it is said, will make 
boys sentimental, boys will make girls rough and clumsy, 
and the result would be immodesty and premature love-sick- 
ness. Apart from these dangers it is urged that since the 
sexes differ not only in their respective needs and require- 
ments, but also in their mental and moral qualities, and 
their physical capacities, education cannot possibly be the 
same in detail for both boys and girls. But what is lost 
sight of is the fact that within the limits of curricula and 
time-tables — which are broadening from day to day — it 
should not be an insuperable task so to adjust matters that 
every student, irrespective of sex, which is a mere accident 
of nature, shall freely engage in the activities for which he 
or she is best fitted. 

Now as to the supposed dangers to the morals of the 
pupils this only need be said, that the test of experience 
has invariably belied the worst fears. In Western countries 
where co-education has been tried it has been found that 
young men are more earnest, better in manners, and more 
civilized. The women, on the other hand, do their work in 
a more natural way and with greater application than when 
isolated from men, and there is less silliness and folly, simply 
because a man is not a novelty. There is a general chasten- 
ing effect both on the man and the woman, and they gain in 
decorum in thought, speech, and conduct in company more 
than in isolation. The repression of girls in a Hindu home 
is a factor which accounts for a great deal of want of self- 
reliance in Indian women, and coming constantly together 
would tend to eliminate the emphasis of sex ; thus making 
better human beings of them in every way. It has also 
been observed that the character of work, too, is not lowered 
by co-education, the girl student not expecting any preferen- 
tial treatment or particular leniency because of her sex. In 
my humble opinion the benefits derived from co-education 
in Western countries are so great and varied that it is really 
worth our while to bestow serious thought on the question 
of its introduction in India. A properly conceived scheme 
of co-education may incidentally bring some relief in our 
anxiety to find funds for running separate educational insti- 
tutions for girls and in the difficult task of wheedling a 
none-too-prodigal Government into the mood to give. 

It has been seen that in most countries, especially in 

2i6 Thoughts on Womens Education in India 

India, the prospects of boys and girls are differently esti- 
mated, and that more emphasis is given to prepare the boys 
for the battle of life by educating them as well as or even 
to a greater extent than what the parents can afford. 
There is no reason why similar opportunities of self-develop- 
ment and self-expression should not be given to the girls. 
If the reasons are examined why boys are often given 
opportunities to learn and girls seldom, it will be found 
that the reasons are economic. The boy as a man has to 
earn his bread for himself and his familv, and he needs 

y f 

must be equipped for the task. The girl’s natural avocation 
is generally looked upon as marriage, and she need not 
have any qualification to earn. In this, however, lies the 
subservience of women. Love and marriage should be a 
matter of personal preference, and all women should be fully 
capable of earning and supporting themselves if need be. 
While a high value is placed on the earning capacity of a 
man, woman is looked down upon as having only a limited 
sphere of action. Her value as housekeeper, mother and 
the rearer of the children, her role of being the genius of 
the Home, is not duly valued, though it can be safely 
affirmed that her duties are equally if not more important 
than man’s ; and that her apparent ease and comfort are 
hardly any compensation for the onerous duties which she 
has to perform throughout her life. It is early marriage 
that makes parents careless of their girl’s equipment for 
life; and the sooner the women of India realize that they 
must be capable of earning their living before they get 
married, the greater will be the respect paid, and the better 
the fate in store for them. 

Lastly, a few words may be added on a subject which to 
my mind is of extreme importance for the welfare of the 
nation as a whole. It is the question of the health and 
physique of our girls. 

A sound mind in a sound body is a common desideratum. 
All the ancient civilizations of the world aimed at this 
ideal, our ancestors considering that mental and the 
physical development inseparable included the training of 
the body in the general education of a youth. It has been 
proved that in Sparta the girls were physically trained along 
with the boys. In India, too, proofs are not wanting of 
the fact that the physical culture of women and girls was 
not only not ignored, but that women took part in many 
manly games and sports. Some readers may be familiar 
with the old Rajput paintings depicting women engaged in 
a game of polo. My purpose here is not to advocate a 

Thoughts on Women's Education in India 217 

revival of these exploits. But it is highly desirable that 
the importance should be recognized of such physical 
culture as may enable girls to maintain a healthy body 
in spite of the cramping effect produced by their sedentary 
occupation and the strain of their studies. Girls would do 
well to remember that the highest University diploma is but 
a poor recompense for a contracted chest and a curved 
spine acquired in its pursuit. It is not possible fully to 
enjoy the fruits of mental labour unless there is also a 
sound body in a state of good health. Girls should take to 
open-air sports and games just as boys do, and a time may 
come when girls thus physically fitted will be able to 
command the respect of their brothers without calling in 
the aid of sentimental chivalry. In this connection it may 
be mentioned that the introduction and revival of national 
folk-dances and games is excellent as a means of exercise 
along with other forms of games which some may choose. 
The famous garbhas of Guzerat and Kathiawad not only 
give the necessary exercise to the muscles, but they are an 
asset in the cultivation of grace and development. The 
games referred to are played in almost all households 
in Maharashtra, and are certainly a fine form of general 
exercise to the body. These garbhas and other games are 
performed to the rythmic cadence of a song repeated by 
the performers themselves, thus making them both healthful 
and enjoyable. Our exercises can thus have also an aes- 
thetic side. These and other such exercises have been 
adopted with considerable success in some of the State 
Girls’ Schools in Baroda. 



By B. T. Kesavaiengar 

Having recently taken up the appointment of Trade 
Commissioner in London for the Mysore Government, I 
readily accept the invitation to contribute an article upon the 
above subject to the Asiatic Review. It is scarcely 
necessary for me to mention that Mysore is one of the 
largest of the Indian States, being the same size as Scotland, 
with an area of 29,475 square miles and a population of 
over six millions. The administration is conducted under 
His Highness’s control by an Executive Council consisting 
of the Dewan and three Members of Council. There are 
two constitutional bodies to assist in the work of adminis- 
tration — viz., the Representative Assembly and the Legisla- 
tive Council. 

Before writing of Mysore’s economic development, I 
should make special and reverent mention of the high 
character, saintly life, and noble aspirations of our beloved 
Ruler, and the keen sympathy he has for the progress of his 
people. During the quarter of a century of his benign rule, 
the advance of Mysore has been so marked in all directions 
that it is universally acknowledged as a model State. In 
certain respects the State has gone further than British India 
in evolving schemes for the development of the resources 
of the State and for the material and moral progress of 
the people. Half a century ago, before ideas of con- 
stitutional reform were being shaped in British India, 
Mysore was the first Indian State, indeed the first part 
of India, where a genuine attempt was made to associate 
the people in the work of administration. The Represen- 
tative Assembly — a body of persons elected by people in rural 
areas — was first established in 1881 with a view to enable the 
representatives of the people to approach the Government 
with local grievances and problems, and to suggest measures 
for the development of the resources of the State. This 
body was nurtured carefully by successive administrators, able 
and far-seeing, and placed on a statutory basis about ten 
years ago. Mysore has been evolving and carrying out 
beneficent schemes during all these years under the benevo- 
lent and fostering guidance of the Ruler, assisted by 

Development and Resources of the Mysore State 219 

eminent statesmen. There is now a Legislative Council 
with a non-official majority with powers similar to those of 
the Legislatures in the provinces of British India. 

In addition to these two constitutional bodies there is 
another Council, which, though not established under 
statute, has been doing very useful service. This Council 
is known as the Mysore Economic Conference. It was 
inaugurated by His Highness in 1911 with the object of 
associating men of enlightenment, public-spirited citizens, 
prominent agriculturists, merchants, etc., with the officers 
of Government in deliberations connected with economic 
progress in Mysore. It was considered that problems 
relating to wealth creation should receive special treatment 
as distinct from those of general administration, and the 
solution of many of them could only be attempted by the 
joint action of the Government and the people. 

The activities of the Economic Conference led, among 
other results, to a large expenditure on education, the 
establishment of the University of Mysore and of the Bank 
of Mysore, the creation of the Department of Industries, and 
the starting of several industries, large and small. 

The Gold Fields 

Of the various activities that have brought Mysore into 
close contact with the West, not the least important is the 
development of the mineral resources of the State. Mysore, 
as many business people in this country are aware, is rich in 
mineral wealth and has afforded ample scope for the invest- 
ment of capital by people in this country to exploit the 
mineral wealth. The chief mineral which attracted the 
attention of the Western capitalist so early as 1873 was gold, 
the well-known Kolar Gold Fields being situate in the 
Mysore State. 

The existence of the remains of old workings had long 
been known, but it was not till 1873 that any special atten- 
tion was directed to them. In that year Mr. Lavelle, a 
resident of Bangalore, applied to the Mysore Government 
for the exclusive privilege of mining in the Kolar district. 
On experimenting he found that large capital would be 
required for carrying out the work, and he transferred all 
his rights and concessions to the late Major-General G. de 
la Poer Beresford. This officer, with some friends, formed 
a syndicate known as the Gold Fields of Mysore Company. 
The Company subsequently secured the aid of Messrs. 
John Taylor and Sons, Mining Engineers, of London, in 

220 Development and Resources of the Mysore State 

1880, who since then have developed the industry with such 
energy, enterprise and business insight that it has been 
going on to this day with persistent vigour to the mutual 
advantage of the capitalists and the State. 

The importance of this enterprise to the State has a 
two-fold aspect. Apart from the royalty the State derives 
from the mining operations, the revenue realized by the 
sale of electric energy supplied to the industry is consider- 
able, being as much as 80 per cent, of the total revenue 

The industry has accordingly enjoyed the active support 
of the Mysore Government, which has financed the construc- 
tion of a branch railway and installed a plant for supply of 
electric power generated at the Cauvery Falls, ninety-three 
miles away. Besides this, the Government have provided a 
filtered water supply to the mining area. The Mining Board 
has the privilege of sending a member to the popular 
assembly to represent mining interests. The largest con- 
sumers of power in the State are the Kolar Mines, and with 
the ever-increasing depths (the present depth of some of the 
mines goes up to 6,800 feet) the demand for power supply 
will increase, and it is in the interests of the State that this 
industry should go on as far as it can and as long as it can. 
The total quantity of fine gold produced from the com- 
mencement of the mining operation in 1S82 up to the end 
of the year 1927 was well over 15^ million ounces, valued 
at over ;^67, 000,000, the dividends paid exceeding 

Other Mineral Resources 

The other mining ventures in the State include 
manganese, chromium, magnesite, and iron. Of these the 
extraction and transport of manganese ore on a large scale 
has been in the hands of a company in England — viz.. The 
Workington Iron and Steel Company, combined with the 
United Steel Company, Ltd. The quantity of ore exported 
till the end of 1925 amounted to 591,000 tons, the royalty 
realized thereon being a little over Rs. 2^ lakhs. The 
company have their own narrow gauge line for a length of 
about forty miles, and have done much useful service to the 
country by opening upa somewhat unhealthy tract in the hilly 
regions of the State, and by providing labour to the unem- 
ployed in that region. 

The future development of this industry in India will 
largely depend on the future of the iron industry, and this 
is a problem beset with many difficulties, not the least 

Development and Resources of the Mysore State 221 

important of which are competition and the costly nature 
of railway transport and heavy steamer freight. 

Chrome ore is another mineral, the extraction of which 
has received attention during recent years, and the future 
of the industry is promising. A high-grade ore is available, 
and the manufacture of ferro-chrome, experiments in regard 
to which are being carried on, will no doubt prove to 
be a useful enterprise in the State. Till 1925 the quantity 
of ore extracted amounted to 191,851 tons, and in 1927-28 
26, 1 1 5 tons were mined. 

The Mysore Iron Works 

The Mysore Iron Works were started by the Government 
of His Highness the Maharaja, in order to utilize the 
mineral and forest resources of the State and to establish a 
basic industry of national importance. The works are 
situated on the banks of a perennial river close to a railway 
station on the Birur-Shimogra section of the Mysore Rail- 
ways. There is an abundant supply of iron ore on the 
Bababudan hills, which lie within a distance of about 
twenty-five miles. The ore is brought down to the foot of 
the hill by a steel ropeway three miles long operated by 
gravity. The forests in the neighbourhood are worked for 
fuel. The plant occupies an area of about fifty acres, and 
comprises a modern charcoal blast furnace, a pipe foundry, 
a wood distillation and by-product recovery plant. An ex- 
perimental steel plant has been added to it recently. 

The Bhadravati Iron Works are the only works of their 
kind in India and in the East, and they possess the biggest 
wood distillation plant in the British Empire. The by- 
products comprise C.P, methanol, methyl acetone, calcium 
acetate, and wood-tar and tar products. The revenue from 
these by-products is considerable, and is a very important 
offset against the high cost of charcoal pig-iron which is the 
main product. The blast furnace is capable of a maximum 
output of 28,000 tons per year, and the disposal and utiliza- 
tion of this large output is engaging the earnest efforts of 
the authorities with a view to maintaining the industry in a 
state of permanent efficiency and for developing other lines 
connected with this industry. 

Competition in the market and the cost of transport 
weigh heavily against the rapid development of this 
industry, and in the interests of the country a certain 
measure of further protection would seem necessary to foster 
its growth. 

222 Development and Resources of the Mysore State 

In order to improve the revenue prospects of the under- 
taking, and to manufacture articles in local demand, the in- 
vestigation of some new developments is receiving the 
attention of Government. These relate to the supply of 
cheaper electric power, the manufacture of steel and steel 
products, the manufacture of pulp and paper, and the manu- 
facture of acetic acid, bakelite, and other chemical products. 

Copper and antimony ores are also available, and prospect- 
ing is going on to investigate the possibilities of working 
these minerals on a commercial basis. 

Besides these important minerals, there are a few abrasive 
and refractory minerals, the development of which is receiv- 
ing more and more attention. Of these magnesite is one 
and bauxite another. There are also available minerals of 
construction such as limestone, lime kankar, ornamental 
and building stones. These are not of much interest from 
the point of view of external trade, as they are worked for 
the present for local absorption. 


The forest resources are another equally important item 
of the State’s wealth, and the development of the work of 
the Department on scientific lines has always received the 
closest attention of the Government. The forests under 
direct Government control reach a total area of 3,500 square 
miles. The forests contain many valuable species of 
timber. The value of timber sold by the Forest Depart- 
ment annually is about Rs. 10 lakhs. There are 
over seventy-five varieties of timber in Mysore forests, 
many of which are suited for high-class furniture and orna- 
mental work, and there are several varieties locally absorbed 
for house-building purposes. There are certain varieties of 
timber growing in the hilly tracts of the State close to the 
borders of the Western Ghats which would be of great 
value in Western countries, but the cost of their ex- 
ploitation and transport is so prohibitive that they are 
allowed to decay in the primeval forests. 

Much of the timber extracted from the forests is used 
locally for building purposes. There is, I think, sufficient 
scope for enterprising firms to start furniture factories in 
areas where good and cheap timber is available, to manu- 
facture goods, if not for export, at least to meet local 
demand. It would, of course, mean a careful study of the 
furniture requirements of an Eastern country, where the 
needs and tastes are different from those in this country, 

Development and Resources of the Mysore State 223 

and hence affording scope for enterprise. There are timbers 
suitable for the match industry, and a beginning has been 
made by the establishment of a match factory at Shimoga 
in the State. A good deal of heavy timber is supplied for 
lining the shafts and for supports on the Kolar Gold Fields, 
and a certain quantity is used for railway purposes as 

At the Mysore Iron Works a creosote plant has recently 
been added to treat the ordinary and cheaper varieties of 
timber to make them fit to be used as sleepers and building 
material. The plant has been doing good work since its 
installation, and is likely to prove a useful adjunct for the 
utilization of the forest resources. 

Special reference requires to be made to the sandalwood 
in the State forests, the wood being a monopoly of the 
State. Till about 15 years ago, the wood itself was being 
auctioned in India. It was long known that a valuable 
essential oil could be had from the wood. The Govern- 
ment realized the advantage of distilling oil from the wood 
locally, and decided to provide employment to the people 
of the land by starting the Sandalwood Oil Factory in 
Bangalore. A few years later another factory also was 
established in Mysore. The factory deals with nearly 
1,500 to 2,000 tons of wood annually, and the oil produced 
is of an exceptionally good quality and finds a favourable and 
ready market in the countries of Europe. The oil is used 
in the perfumery, soap and medicinal trades. The total 
quantity of oil produced is about 200,000 lbs. annually. 
The wood is available only in limited quantities, and there is 
little prospect of increasing the output in the near future, 
although sufficient oil will be made available to maintain a 
steady market for the oil. 

A start has been made in lac cultivation, and the 
industry is being carefully nursed with a view to its further 
expansion. Sealing wax, button lac and lac polish are 
being manufactured at present, and when sufficient progress 
has been made, trade with the West in these commodities 
will naturally develop, and it is hoped will prove to be 

Hydro-Electric Power 

With its mineral, forest, and other natural resources and 
the availability of cheap electric power, Mysore is happily 
circumstanced in regard to schemes for the development of 
industries both large and small. Till twenty years ago. 

224 Development and Resources of the Mysore State 

however, there were but few factories manufacturing on a 
large scale. It was given to the hydro-electric installation 
on the Cauvery River at Sivasamudram to transform the 
entire industrial outlook in the State. The story of the 
development of power at the Cauvery Falls in Mysore is a 
fascinating one and would deserve a separate treatment for 

The scheme started in 1902 owes its origin to the genius 
and foresight of one of the foremost of Mysore’s states- 
men and administrators ; I refer to the great Dewan, Sir 
K. Seshadri Iyer. The scheme has grown from small 
beginnings to such enormous proportions that it has become 
an invaluable industrial asset of the State. It was originally 
designed to generate 10,000 h.p., and as the demand for 
power increased, fresh generation plants had to be added, 
with the result that when the summer supplies in the river 
ran low the continuity of power supply became precarious 
in these months and the construction of a storage reservoir 
was keenly felt. 

The construction of the reservoir, viz., the Krishnaraja 
Sagara Dam, perhaps the second largest artificial lake in 
the world, was soon undertaken and completed, and it owes 
its accomplishment to the energy and enterprise of another 
great Dewan of Mysore, Sir M. Visvesvaraya. These 
developments enabled the State to increase the power 
supply to 46,000 h.p., and yet the demand for power is 
growing, with the result that the Government of H.H. 
the Maharaja have under contemplation the development of 
power from other water sources similarly situated. 

In regard to hydro-electric development, Mysore not 
only helps herself, but is a source of strength to the neigh- 
bouring Provinces. She has set such a wonderful example 
of initiative and enterprise that others have not been slow 
to appreciate or follow. This scheme has been the parent 
of the many industrial concerns that have been established 
during recent years in the State. Till twenty years ago 
there were hardly twenty factories, and today there are over 
400 installations of the most varied type, a large proportion 
of which depend on electric power. 

The Department of Industries and Commerce 

The industrial activity in the State owes its impetus in a 
large measure also to the aid and advice made available by 
the Department of Industries and Commerce — a branch of 
administration which was separately established in 1913 on 
the advice of Sir Alfred Chatterton. 

Development and Resources of the Mysore State 225 

One of the important functions of the Department has 
been to stimulate private enterprise in industries and com- 
merce by the grant of loans and technical advice. The 
example set by the State has induced private capital to be 
invested in these concerns in an ever-increasing measure. 
The Department is assisting industrial development by 
other means also, as, for example, by training young men in 
workshops established by the Government, by grant of 
technical scholarships for training in India or abroad and 
by undertaking pioneer and demonstration work. There 
are some factories under the direct control of the State, 
prominent among them being the sandalwood oil factories, 
the soap factory, and the industrial workshops. 

Even a passing reference to the industries in the State 
would not be complete without a reference to the sericul- 
tural industry. This occupation, which partakes of the 
character both of agriculture and an industry subsidiary to 
agriculture, has been practised for a long time in the State, 
although its fortunes have been of a changing character. 
The reason for this is to be found in the fact that the climate 
and soil in the State are admirably suited for mulberry 
cultivation and rearing of silkworms. The industry is 
practised over a third of the State, an extent of 52,000 acres 
being under mulberry cultivation, and the value of silk 
produced being estimated at a crore of rupees. It gives 
occupation to about 200,000 people In view of the impor- 
tance of this industry to the State, the State has been 
making special efforts to protect and develop the industry 
on scientific lines. There is now a separate department of 
sericulture whose chief functions are to carry on experiments 
in silkworm breeding with a view to improving the Mysore 
race of silkworms, fixation of new races, etc., improving the 
seed supply, and carrying out demonstrations in rearing and 
reeling. The future of the industry, in view of the compe- 
tition of foreign silks and artificial silks, gives rise to some 
anxiety, but it is hoped that by employing better seed and 
improved methods, a better quality of silk will be produced 
which will enable it to withstand competition and take its own 
rightful place in the economic development of the State. 

Equally important in the economic development of the 
State is the cotton industry. The total area under cotton 
is 115,000 acres. The total number of weavers is about 
52,000, and a large percentage of this number weave only 
coarse cloths. The Departmentof Industries has taken up the 
improvement of ithis indigenous industry and demonstrated 
the use of the shuttle looms. These looms are gradually 


226 Development and Resources of the Mysore State 

replacing the earlier crude looms. The Government weav- 
ing factory trains weavers in the use of improved appliances 
and machinery and experiments in new designs and patterns 
and the manufacture of machinery suited to the cotton 
weavers. The introduction of power looms is another 
direction in which the Department has been assisting the 
growth of the industry. There are ten power-loom factories 
in the State now. The object of developing these small 
industries is to reduce the export of raw material and provide 
occupation for people in the State during non-agricultural 
seasons. Another industry which is showing signs of 
revival is the carpet industry. Bangalore carpets find a 
market both in America and Great Britain. 

Of the other industries in the State, coffee and tea deserve 
to be mentioned. Coffee is a commercial crop of great 
importance in the State, the total acreage under coffee 
being 100,000. A large number of plantations are in the 
hands of Europeans, be it said to whose credit that they have 
done much pioneer work in this connection. Mysore coffee 
is noted for its superiority and flavour, and is one of the 
principal items of export from India to this country. The 
value of the coffee crop is estimated to range from a crore 
to a crore and half rupees. Tea is another industry which 
has recently established itself in the State with promises 
of a good future. 

The State has besides various other resources for the 
development of many new industries, but as elsewhere in 
India, lack of capital, absence of organized effort and want of 
facilities for investigation and research have hampered the 
progress in the past, but it will be noted that deter- 
mined efforts are being made to give the necessary impetus 
for a more rapid progress in this direction. 

Trade of Mysore 

The external trade of Mysore passes through two 
channels — viz., the highways and the railways. The total 
length of the roads in the State is nearly 6,000 miles, and 
annually Rs. 10 lakhs are spent on the maintenance of 
these roads. The State owns 713 miles of railway, of 
which 440 miles are worked by the State and 273 miles by 
the M. and S.M. Railway Company. The total gross 
earnings during 1927-28 amounted to Rs. 52-59 lakhs, and 
the net earnings amounted to Rs. 27-29 lakhs. The State 
fully realizes the importance of communications in the 
development of the resources and trade of the country, and 

Development and Resources of the Mysore State 227 

has been steadily pursuing the policy of extending railway 
communications and road developments. A prominent 
feature of the constructive programme of the railway 
development is the extension of the existing lines to the 
frontiers of the State with a view to establishing trade 
connections between Mysore Railways and British Indian 
Highways of Commerce. 

The establishment of the Mysore Chamber of Commerce 
in recent years is another step in the direction of develop- 
ing trade beyond the State. The Chamber has been doing 
a good deal of useful work already and is bound to be of 
great help to foreign business people anxious to establish 
trade connections in Mysore. The Chamber of Commerce 
has the support and sympathy of the State, and has the 
privilege of sending a member to the Legislative Council 
and other public bodies in the State. 

Although many details have been given, the subject of 
the natural resources of Mysore State is by no means 
exhausted. There are aspects of it which I have scarcely 
mentioned, especially the impetus that will be given to pro- 
duction and to manufacturing development by the great 
schemes of irrigation already undertaken or in contemplation. 
This subject alone would require a separate article. It is 
the desire of the Mysore Government to establish and 
develop friendly trade relations with the advanced countries 
of the West for their mutual benefit. 



By Maurice Emygdius Watts, b.a., barrister-at-law 
(Late Dewan of Travancore) 


The Country 

In the extreme south-west of India, remote from the beaten 
track of the cold-weather tourist, lies Travancore — tranquil, 
happy and shy, courting neither attention from the politician 
nor publicity from the Press, gazing forever from the sacred 
point of Comorin washed east and west by twin seas, across 
the ocean expanses stretching out to the South Pole. All 
Hindu India knows Travancore as Dharma Rajyam, the 
Land of Charity — but little more; and the rest of India knows 
even less, while to the rest of the world, outside mercantile 
houses scattered everjrwhere, Travancore, even as a name, 
conveys nothing. And yet the Greeks and the Romans, the 
Phoenicians and the old-time Chinese, were intimately asso- 
ciated with her ports, from which were drawn fine muslins 
and ivory and wealth-bringing spices; spices and fine cloths 
which held the Portuguese and the Dutch in close commercial 
relations with the State, and which from 1680 down to this 
present moment, through changing circumstance of mutual 
need, have welded Travancore and Britain into lasting 
political unity. Travancore is a land to which Nature has 
been most bountiful. It has never known famine, and it is 
ever and everywhere green as England in summer. Springing 
from the great chain of mountains, older far than the 
Himalayas, which walls it off from the rest of India, there 
flow across the country ten considerable rivers, which 
eventually sprawl into ganglia of greater and lesser lakes 
which, man-connected where Nature failed in the linking-up, 
skirt the coast with outlets to the sea and give the country 
unbroken water-communication for 1 50 miles north and 
south — the main artery of its trade and commerce. Whether 
up among the mountains where British enterprise has won 
60,000 acres for tea from the encircling virgin forests, or 
along the rolling uplands devoted to spices and rubber, or 
by lake and stream and canal down to interminable palm 
groves and vivid paddy-fields, the eye constantly lingers 
upon beauty spot after beauty spot in bewildering 
variety. The State has an area of 7,625 square miles 
of territory, a third of which comprises reserved forests. 



virgin, conserved, or, since 1866, scientifically regenerated. 
These forests, besides being a valuable economic asset and 
source of revenue to the State, make — forswear the word 
“ sportsman’s ” — a naturalist’s paradise. Bird-life, reptiles 
— snakes which it would take a lifetime to identify, great 
lizards and little — the pitiless wild red-dog, the bear, the 
leopard, the glossy black panther, the tiger, the sambur, the 
mighty bison, all these are there and, most numerous of all 
in spite of annual catchings, the privileged elephant. There 
is no greater joy in life than to watch a herd swim across the 
Periyar lake, the deep-sunk mothers carefully holding their 
babies’ little trunks to breathe safely above the water line; 
or to stand silent and still within a few yards of a herd and 
watch its simple family life until, the watcher detected, my 
lord throws up his trunk and trumpets his short, sharp signal 
and the herd ambles away in stately dignity, while the forest 
resounds with the stampede and the crash of bison and 
sambur, deer and hog. All these forests, all these rivers, 
all these lakes, all cultivation, are ultimately dependent on 
rainfall, and the rains never fail Travancore. There are two 
lavish monsoons every year, beginning in May and October, 
although, to the joy of the rubber planter, there are places 
where some showers fall almost every day of the year. 
Trivandrum, the capital, counts on an annual rainfall of 
60 inches in the year; while, higher up, tea planters work to 
pay their London dividends soaked in a rainfall of 200 inches 
a year. Carefully compiled rainfall statistics have been 
recorded by the State Observatory and Department of 
Meteorology continuously since 1838. 

Its Peoples 

Travancore ’s habitable area of some 5,000 square miles 
is compact with a population of nearly four and a half 
millions, showing a density of 888 to the square mile, as 
compared with Belgium’s 663 and Great Britain’s 468. 
There are more people in Travancore than in Denmark, than 
in the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland combined, 
than in Norway and in all but four of the Central and South 
American States; while only five of the States comprising 
the United States of America hold a larger population. The 
vast expanse of Canada has no more than twice as many 
people, and the population of Australia exceeds Travancore’s 
by barely a third, while that of Scotland is very little more. 
Of the Indian States, only Hyderabad and Mysore have a 
larger population ; and Ceylon and Travancore have the same. 



It will, of course, be questioned whether a teeming population 
by itself establishes a State’s title to relative importance. 
So far, at any rate, as India as a whole is concerned, that 
criticism nowise detracts from Travancore ’s right to eminence 
per se or to pride of place in a gradation of rank. Its peoples 
are more literate, better educated per centum of population 
than those of any part of British India or of any other Indian 
State bar the sister State of Cochin. As long ago as 1817, 
the then ruling Rani issued a rescript ordaining “ that the 
State should defray the entire cost of the education of its 
people, in order that there might be no backwardness in the 
spread of enlightenment among them, that by diffusion of 
education they might become better subjects and public 
servants, and that the reputation of the State might be 
advanced thereby.” English education was first introduced 
by Christian missionaries between 1816 and 1819, and the 
first State English free school was established in 1834. At 
the present moment the State spends over 22 per cent, of its 
revenue on education, and about 78 percent, of the population 
of school going age are under instruction. The total number 
of educational institutions in the State in 1928 was over 
4,000, giving an average of one school to every 998 of the 
population and to every i-S square miles of territory. There 
are eight Colleges, of which four are Government institutions 
and four aided institutions conducted by Christian bodies. 
One of the Government Colleges is for women — for women, who 
have never been cribbed and cabined by the pardah system 
in this country, and who for ages have been on a footing of 
equality with men, are as anxious to proceed to higher 
education as men; and, in passing, it may be mentioned that 
they are not merely admitted to the public service in its 
educational and medical branches, but also on complete 
parity with men in certain other branches of the Civil Service. 
And in connection with the controversy in England on the 
question whether women public servants should resign or be 
dismissed on marriage, it is interesting to note that Travan- 
core has long followed a more generous policy than the 
authorities are adopting in this country. In Travancore, not 
merely are women not called upon to vacate office when they 
marry, but special concessions are allowed them. The State 
Civil Service Regulations grant women, over and above the 
cumulative privilege leave of a month a year enjoyed by all 
civil servants male or female, three months’ full pay 
‘‘ maternity ” leave when required. Primary education is 
free throughout the State. The number of vernacular schools 
in the State in 1928 was 3,335, of which 444 were exclusively 



for girls. There were 230 middle and high schools for boys 
and 94 for girls exclusively, and 228 were English schools. 
Co-education of boys and girls has for centuries been an 
established custom in the State, and the advent of English 
education in schools run more or less on Western lines, has 
not materially affected the practice. In 1928 the number of 
girls who attended boys’ schools was 124,068 as against 
66,883 who attended schools maintained exclusively for 
girls ; and this applied not merely to primary schools, but also 
to middle and high schools and the colleges. The proportion 
of girls to boys attending schools and colleges in 1928 was 
I to 1-7 — a record in female education which no other part 
of India even approaches. Music is taught in girls’ schools, 
and there were 200 teachers of music in Government schools 
and St) in private institutions aided by Government. The 
broadmindedness, the catholicity, of this Hindu State is as 
manifest in its educational policy as in its general adminis- 
trative outlook; not only are Christian educational institu- 
tions supported as generously from public revenues as similar 
Hindu institutions, but large endowments have been made 
for exclusively Christian education; and in schools where 
there is an appreciable number of Muhammadan children, 
the State provides Arabic and Quran teachers. 

Their Democratic Spirit 

One of the results of the high level of literacy is the large 
number of newspapers and periodicals published in Travan- 
core. In 1928 there were fifty newspapers and eighty-three 
periodicals issued regularly, of which, nineteen were in English, 
forty-four partly in English and in the vernacular, all but 
two of the rest being in the latter, the two exceptions being 
one in Latin and the other in Syriac. Both men and women, 
young and old, are assiduous readers of papers, and just as 
practically every man and woman of the middle classes, 
by constant association with litigation, is a born lawyer, 
so also, in a closely packed population where everybody 
knows or knows of everybody else, and where most families 
have members in the public services, a lively interest is taken 
by the upper and lower middle classes, even down to petty 
shopkeepers, who, on a low-qualification franchise, enjoy a 
vote, in public affairs generally, both in high politics and in 
the conduct and character of the executive of every grade. 
Possibly there is no part of India so given up to public meet- 
ings, resolutions, representations, deputations, as Travancore. 
In all these activities the newspapers and periodicals, whether 



as vehicles for the expression of views or as actual participants 
in movements, are vigorously engaged. Although it is 
inevitable that in the circumstances of the country the Press 
should occasionally lapse into licence — for which a Newspaper 
Regulation reserves correctives (never once applied since its 
promulgation five years ago) — it must be admitted, on the 
whole, that the wide publicity of this closely critical Press 
and the highly developed public opinion which is sleeplessly 
active in the State are a valuable asset to the people of the 
country and indirectly to the Government — a wholesome 
check on peculation, corruption, inefficiency, injustice, and 
high-handedness, wherever these should chance to raise their 
heads. No administration in Travancore can afford to 
flout such public opinion, which is the outward and visible 
sign of a spirit of democracy unparalleled in the rest of India. 
This free expression of public opinion and local feeling has 
also a positive value; it unerringly guides the head of the 
administration and heads of departments to the investigation 
of wants to be supplied and wrongs to be righted. And it is 
not the general intelligence, the wide-spread education, and 
an expansive Press that alone contribute to foster the demo- 
cratic spirit and create public opinion. There are karayogams, 
or people’s committees to secure the rights and well-being of 
the inhabitants of defined localities; there are countless 
associations and societies devoted to one purpose or another; 
and, last but not least, it is important to bear in mind that 
Christians, including the ancient Syrian Christians of the 
lesser Eastern Churches, who were established in Travancore 
from the beginning of the Christian era, constitute between 
a third and a fourth of the entire population of the State — 
not the down-trodden and often despised Christian converts 
in some other parts of India, but a large, prosperous, and 
industrious community which holds a high social position. 
There are no less than twenty- two Christian Archbishops, 
Metropolitans, and Bishops in the State, as well as a Ter- 
ritorial Commander of the Salvation Army. The influence 
of these Christian bodies, exercised through dioceses and 
parishes as well-defined territorial units, with all the sanctions 
of religion behind them, in moulding public opinion and 
according or withholding moral support to men and measures, 
is very considerable. 



By Pierre Cordemoy 
{Translated by Miss N. Williams) 

( Copyright Reserved) 


(b) Roads 

When France, who had been established on the Lower 
Mekong for a quarter of a century, extended her pro- 
tection over Indo-China, as far as China in the north and 
Siam in the west, the road system of the district thus opened 
up to civilization was practically non-existent. 

The Indo-Chinese Union, which comprises Cochin-China, 
Cambodia, Annam, Tonkin and Laos, is one and a half 
times as large as France, and has a meridian measurement 
of nearly 2,000 kilometres ; but it had then neither the trunk 
roads, whose general purpose is the linking up of different 
regions, nor the by-roads to the interior which facilitate 
the development of the soil and subsoil of each colony. 

To quote one typical example, the famous “Mandarin 
Road,” crossing the Annam Empire from north to south, 
was hardly more, at that date, than a long track with very 
steep gradients, broken by rough sections which were only 
practicable for foot-passengers, horsemen, and in certain 
places, light conveyances. The traveller usually accom- 
plished it in a palanquin, escorted by a long train of coolies 
carrying his luggage. 

Hence, in those days, even in the most populated and 
best administered districts of the Empire, road transport 
was precarious, slow, and difficult ; apart from navigable 
ways it was almost impossible to get up into the interior, 
particularly to Upper Tonkin, distant Laos, the recesses of 
the Annamite Range, the solitudes of the Moi country, 
wherever mountain, forest, or jungle raised their formidable 
barriers against the people and the ideas of the West. 

But, very quickly, the representatives of France in the 
Far East realized that these far-off colonies, so difficult of 
access, concealed everywhere, in small quantities, enormous 
wealth, and that there could be found, in the Tonkin Delta 
and the over-populated region of North Annam, the neces- 
sary labour to work the fertile but sparsely peopled central 
and southern districts. 

234 French Development Work in Indo-China 

They understood that farming on a large scale, forestry 
work and mining industries might become the sources of 
very great prosperity when Europeans, providing capital, 
and the necessary methods and machinery, could bring to 
their concessions labourers and plant, and export to the 
borders or the ports the products of agriculture and manu- 

Finally, being responsible for the defence and safety of a 
great country, they did not forget that a good system of 
communications constitutes the foundation of effective 
operation either for making war or keeping order. 

In short, France has realized that these fruitful lands, 
which have lain like some magnificent body in a state of 
lethargy for so many centuries, must be provided with a 
vigorous system of circulation. 

The problem having been defined, it remains to be shown 
how this has been done. 

The Sarraut Programme. — The building of roads began 
in the nineteenth century with Cochin-China which became 
French in i860. First the Admirals, then the Civil Gover- 
nors, have endowed this country with a road system of which 
she is proud, and which, at the beginning of the twentieth 
century allowed of the development of rubber growing in 
the eastern part of the Colony. 

The districts, which from 1885 were placed under the 
French Protectorate, entered in their turn on the work of 
road development. But these efforts were, at first, purely 
local; and it was not until 1912 that M. Albert Sarraut, the 
Governor-General, decided upon a complete programme of 
road-making, and applied it to the five Colonies of the 
Indo-Chinese group. 

A classifying ordinance of June 18, 1918, gave the 
necessary sanction to the Sarraut programme. 

This organization, which followed only slowly upon that 
of the railway system which had been thought out in 1898, 
was nevertheless very timely at a moment when the growth 
of the motor industry allowed ten times as much transport 
by road, and when French capital was more readily invested 
in Indo-China. 

The results obtained by the carrying out of the Sarraut 
programme are remarkable. 

Since 1912, the Public Works Department has, on the 
one hand, pushed forward with great energy the construction 
of colonial roads intended to unite various parts of the 
Indo-Chinese Dominion ; on the other hand, they have 
accelerated, first in Tonkin and Cambodia, then in Annam 

French Development Work in Indo-China 235 

and Laos, the opening up of local roads which have had an 
excellent influence on the economic development of those 

In sixteen years, in spite of the obstacles placed in the 
way of all French undertakings by the World War, the 
extent of the road system has been tripled. 

By the end of 1928, there was a total development of 
32,500 kilometres (more than f of the circumference of the 
earth), viz. : 

14,300 kilometres of metalled roads. 

10,400 kilometres of unmetalled roads. 

7,800 kilometres of tracks. 

The cost of this work was 83 million piastres, of which 
50 million were assessed to the general budget, and 33 
million to the local budget. 

From the end of the period which we have been con- 
sidering, and especially since 1923, the employment of 
motor transport has developed, alongside with the opening 
of roads, at a very rapid rate. 

At the end of 1928, 18,776 motors were in use in French 

The carrying out of the programme is going on briskly, 
and already now the cultivated areas have a convenient 

There remains to be carried out of the work of improve- 
ment and completion : 

1. The improvement of certain sections to keep pace 
with the ever-increasing traffic. 

2. The metalling of the whole of the classified road 
system and the provision of permanent building con- 

3. The completion of certain roads in Laos and Upper 

The total expense involved is about 50 million piastres. 

The Road System of Mo'i . — Besides the above, and in 
the same way as has been done with the railways, the 
extension of the road system must be planned in the vast 
region of Moi, which is still very little known, to keep pace 
with the industrial requirements which are steadily increas- 
ing in the famous Red Lands.* 

Although certain sections of the Colonial roads crossing 
the Moi country are already, as we see, open to traffic, it is 

* See Section (a) (Railways) of the present essay. The demands for 
concessions in the Moi country represented, already, at the beginning of 
1926, an area of 500,000 hectares. 

236 French Development Work in Indo-China 

impossible in the present position of prospecting and con- 
cessions to settle exactly the direction of the projected roads. 

The first portion of the necessary expenses is put at 20 
million piastres. 

The Plan. 

The roads of French Indo-China are divided into two 
main categories : 

A. Colonial roads. 

B. Local roads. 

To the latter must be added for Cochin-China only, 
provincial and communal roads. 

Since 1922 there are, in addition to the roads which have 
been mentioned, the up-country tracks which serve as the 
rough outline of a road system to the interior districts. 

(A) Colonial Roads. — The colonial roads, being in- 
tended for general service, form the great arteries of the 
system, from which the local roads branch out. 

The Sarraut programme, enlarged in I926, allowed for 
the making of twenty-two roads, having altogether a length 
of more than 9,800 kilometres, and necessitating an outlay 
of 55,000,000 piastres. 

There are at present about 8,066 kilometres of colonial 
roads open to traffic, of which 6,524 kilometres are metalled 
and 1,542 kilometres unmetalled. 

Among these roads the following are the most important : 

1. Colonial Road No. i, or the Mandarin Road, is the 
great artery which runs the length of the Indochinese 
Union. It stretches from the threshold of China as far as 
the frontier of Siam. With a length of 2,570 kilometres* 
it links up, from north to south, the four capitals of 
Tonkin, Annam, Cochin-China, and Cambodia. 

The reconstruction of this magnificent highway, the 
precarious state of which before the French protectorate 
has been mentioned, has all been done in sixteen years. 

It has, at its narrowest, a width of 6 metres, curves 
having a radius of 1 5 metres, the gradient reaches to 6 per 
cent, in exceptional cases only ; the bridges, mostly made 
of reinforced concrete, can support an overload of a nine- 
ton axle preceded and followed by five-ton axles. 

2. In Tonkin, radiating from Hanoi. 

{a) Roads Nos. 2 and 3 towards the High Lands and the 
Chinese frontier. 

(B) Road No. 5, which has much traffic, leading to the 
port of Haiphong. 

(c) Road No. 6, leading to Laos. 

* The distance as the crow flies from Paris to Moscow. 

French Development Work in Indo-China 237 

N.B. — It should be noted that Road No. 13 (mentioned on page 238), 
which is marked on the map as being metalled from Saigon to Krati 4 , 
continues as an unmetalled road from Kratie to Kong, in the valley of the 
Mekong (15 by 115°), then continuing, as marked on the map, from Kong 
to Thakkhet. 

238 French Development Work in Indo-China 

3. In Tonkin and Laos. 

The Rocade Road, No. 4, is of strategical and political 
importance, running parallel to the frontier and uniting 
Moncay on the Gulf of Tonkin with Vientane on the Upper 

4. In Annam and Laos. 

Roads Nos. 7, 8, 9, opening up the most direct com- 
munication between the great navigable reach of the 
Mekong and the coast of Annam. 

Road No. 9 from Dongha to Savannaket is now 

5. In Cochin-China and Cambodia. 

Road No. 13 from Saigon to Kratie (on the Mekong), 
which is the beginning of a great inland way leading from 
Saigon to the sea across Laos. As from 1930 this road 
will be metalled from Saigon to Kratie. There is a road 
fit for motor traffic along the Mekong from Kratie to 

6. In Cambodia. 

Road No. I bis from Pnom-Penh to the marvellous 
ruins of Angkor. This road will be ready in 1931. 

7. In Cochin-China, Cambodia and Annam. 

Road No. 14, from Saigon to Hue by the interior. This 
road is open for traffic on two sections — one from Saigon 
to the border of Cochin-China, the other, in the centre, from 
Ban Me Thuot to Kontum across the provinces of Darlac 
and Kontum. 

This is one of the most important arteries of communi- 
cation with the Moi country. 

8. In Annam. 

Road No, 19, from the port of Quinhon to Pleiku and 
Budop, from which points branch off the completed sections 
of road No. 14, mentioned above. 

Finally, three new roads. Nos. 20, 21, 22, which were 
not provided for in 1912 and 1918, will link Cochin-China 
on the one hand with the Red Lands of South Annam and 
on the other with Cambodia (Kompongcham). 

(j5) Local Roads. — These roads, which play an essential 
part in the economic development of the country, branch 
off from the colonial roads. 

We will include with them, for the statistical point of 
view, the provincial and communal roads of Cochin- 

Naturally they are numerous in thickly populated districts, 
and much rarer in the mountainous regions. 

In the whole of the Union, the extent of the development 

French Development Work in Incb-China 239 

of these roads, provided for in the Sarraut Programme, is 
22,000 kilometres. 

xA.t the present time, 16,654 kilometres are open for motor 
traffic, 7,800 kilometres being metalled (practicable all the 
year round), and 8,854 unmetalled (practicable for six 
months in the year). 

Half of the metalled non-colonial roads are in Cochin- 

An outlay of 25 million piastres has been allowed for 
embankments, building construction, and metalling, the 
purpose being that these roads may be put in a state to 
stand the constant growth of motor traffic. 

To the roads already mentioned should be added those 
which are to be opened in the Moi district, according to the 
needs of development. 

(C) Up-Country Tracks. — These tracks are of great in- 
terest. They constitute, generally, the beginning of future 
roads ; made quickly and cheaply they facilitate communica- 
tions between the centres of isolated provinces, and are 
destined to play an important part in the prospecting work 
and improvement of the country. 

For this reason the General Budget of Indo-China 
devotes 300,000 piastres a year for the sole purpose of the 
construction of these paths, a work usually carried out by 
indentured labour under the direction of the Heads of the 
provinces helped by militiamen of the Civil Guard. 

These tracks, which are practicable for motor traffic in 
the dry season, have some bad patches in places. 

The width of the track is often reduced to 3 metres, the 
gradients are as high as 9 and 10 per cent., the bridges are 
wooden (sometimes bamboo) ; there is metalling only in the 
worst places. 

The most important of these tracks are in use : 

In Tonkin and Laos — 

In the high district of the north-west of Tonkin, the 
plateau of Tranninh, the chief places of the Laotian 

In Cambodia — 

In the northern district which they link to the centre of 
the kingdom. 

Lastly, and deserving of special mention — 

1. The tracks running up towards the north, prolonging, 
for the length of the Mekong, Colonial Road No. 13 (Saigon 
to Kratie). These tracks form the plan for the great 
Transindochinese road of the interior. 

2. The tracks running up into the Moi country, already 

240 French Development Work in Indo-China 

designed to be the groundwork of the future road 

Characteristics, Construction, and Maintenance 

The roads of Indo-China are generally 5 to 6 metres 
wide, except in the mountainous regions, where for reasons 
of economy they are reduced to a width of 4*50 metres 
and sometimes even to 4 metres. 

The bridges have generally a single track, and consist of 
a road 2 '50 to 3 metres wide bordered by two sidewalks each 
50 to 75 centimetres wide. Many of the bridges are of 
reinforced concrete, the platform being held up from under- 
neath by beams measuring 20 metres across. 

The road-work comprises ; 

1. Embankments and building constructions. 

2. New metalling. 

3. Upkeep. 

Embankments and buildings are put out to contract by 
public auction. The plots are generally 10 to 20 kilometres, 
to allow small contractors, who are often natives of the 
country, to become bidders. 

Metalling is done by the Administration. The usual 
coating is macadam, 3 to 4 metres wide, with a convexity 
of 1/80. 400 to 500 cubic metres of stone is used to the 

kilometre. Hard stones, granite, quartzites, porphyry, are 
used on roads which have heavy traffic. 

Motor traffic, particularly motor omnibuses, which are 
very active on certain sections, has been the cause of a very 
rapid deterioration of the roadway. 

There, as in every other place in the world, motor traffic 
has set the problem of the resistant road, without being able 
to solve it finally. 

To remedy such rapid wear and tear, certain narrow 
sections have been widened to allow a larger surface for 
traffic ; also use has been made of special road facings with 
concrete or asphalt. 

Following upon repeated experiments, it seems that the 
most useful process is that which uses an upper coating of 
asphalt combined with the heavy products of petrol 

By these means the repairs last twice as long as those 
carried out in limestone, and half as long again as those in 
hard stone. Under these circumstances, renovations with 
asphalt seem less burdensome than ordinary repairs. 

In 1929 there were 983 kilometres of asphalted roads, of 
which — 

French Development Work in Indo-China 241 

513 kilometres are in Tonkin ; 

261 kilometres are in Cambodia; 

209 kilometres are in Cochin-China. 

It is estimated that the total length of this class of road 
in 1930 will be 1,500 kilometres. 

Motor Transport 

The construction of a road system has produced a very 
rapid development of motor transport, especially in Cochin- 
China, Tonkin, and Cambodia. 

Besides the Europeans, for whom the motor-car has 
become the habitual vehicle, the native population have 
been at once won over to the new method of transport. 

To understand the swiftness of the development of the 
motor car it is only necessary to glance at the figures 
which show the value of vehicles imported into the colony. 

Until 1918 the annual value of these imports did not 
exceed 2,000,000 francs. 

In 1919 it reached 6,700,000 francs, and 20,000,000 in 

In 1925, 35,000,000 worth of cars, nearly all of French 
make, were imported. 

Moreover, it is calculated that, at the end of 1928, 
18,776 motor-cars were in use in the Indo-Chinese Union. 
More than half of these vehicles were in use in Cochin- 
China, a quarter in Tonkin. 

Public Transport Services 

Thanks to the liking shown by the natives for motor cars. 
Public Motor Transport services have been started and have 
been successful. 

Many of these services, some of which are intended for 
the transport of mails, run daily. The number, quality, and 
weight of the cars used are steadily increasing. 

At the end of 1928, nearly 2,000 companies served the 
whole territory. 60 per cent, of these companies work in 
Cochin-China, ii per cent, in Cambodia, 16 per cent, in 
Tonkin, 13 per cent, in Annam and in Laos. 

This is the best proof of the importance to the native 
population of the road system that has been opened up by 
F ranee. 

It has been shown elsewhere, in the article devoted to 
Railways (January, 1930), that the Government have had, 
as a means of contesting motor competition, to reduce by 


242 French Development Work in Indo-China 

30 per cent, the passenger fares in Annam and Tonkin, and 
thus have averted a crisis. 


It remains, by way of conclusion, to sum up the above 
statements : 

It has been seen that since 1912, thanks to the impetus 
given by M. Sarraut, the co-ordination and amplification ot 
the efforts of France in Indo-China for the improvement of 
land communications have been undertaken. 

The realization, which is still incomplete, of this whole 
programme, has allowed, so far, of the opening to traffic of 

32.500 kilometres of classified roads or up-country tracks. 

Today a magnificent Transindochinese arterial road 

2.500 kilometres long unites the four great capitals, and 
allows the passage of a motor-car from the borders of Siam 
to the gates of China. 

Other well-constructed roads open up for colonization 
Upper Tonkin, Central Laos, and Cambodia, while the fine 
road system of Cochin China is constantly growing and 

But already the growth of Indo-China and her visions 
for the future make the Sarraut programme inadequate. 
This has, however, been foreseen, and its extension has 
been broached. 

The proposed roads, partly begun, will penetrate to the 
undeniably fertile but little known regions of Central Laos, 
and chiefly the great Mot country. 

At the same time, there has been started the great Indo- 
Chinese road of the interior, which, starting from Saigon, 
and going along by the Mekong, will unite South and 
North — wealthy Cochin-China and vigorous Tonkin. 

The road, by opening to motor traffic a country of over- 
flowing wealth, has been, therefore, one of the most 
efficient instruments employed by France in Indo-China to 
give, by peaceful methods, comfort and prosperity to the 
peoples whom she has taken under her protection. 

N.B . — Pictures depicting life and scenery in Indo-China will be found 
in the last four pages of the Illustrated Supplement in this issue. In 
addition, the fifth and sixth pages show views of the Palace of Indo-China 
which is being constructed for the International Colonial Exhibition (Paris, 
1931), and the seventh page the building for the Permanent Colonial 
Exhibition. An article upon the International Colonial Exhibition will 
appear in the July issue of the Asiatic Review. 




By C. G. S. Sandberg, 

(Consulting Geologist) 

[The author of this article gained his first practical experience of gold- 
mining and gold deposits in the Transvaal as a Government Claims 
Inspector. After taking his degree at the Sorbonne, he returned to South 
Africa as a consulting geologist and issued reports on various mineral 
deposits. In 1909 he was commissioned to examine and report on a 
gold occurrence in Sumatra, and subsequently joined the Government 
service of the Netherlands East Indies in a semi-detached capacity. He 
explored and reported upon various mineral deposits and on the geology 
of parts of Sumatra, Java, the Little Sunda Islands, and Celebes, and was 
the first to cross the latter island from Paloppo to Posso along a route 
keeping to the west of the central range. Since 1913 he has established 
himself as a consulting geologist in Holland, and is now at The Hague.] 

Having given the principles governing the mining law 
and regulations and those of the labour legislation in the 
N.E. I. in tabloid form, we may now proceed to outline some 
of the deposits which are being exploited, the accompanying 
map giving an idea of the various places where the several 
minerals have been located up to the present. It certainly 
does not claim to be complete in details ; yet it may serve 
to give a general idea of the mineral wealth and possibilities 
of this country, the exploration of which is still in its very 

Government Exploitations . — The Government mining 
enterprises are restricted to the exploitation of gold and 
silver, coal and tin. 

Gold-Silver Mines . — The Government gold mines are 
situated on Sumatra, Residency of Benkoelen, and in its 
north-west— south-east directed main range, the Barisan 
(Malay word for what is ranged along a straight line). 
Geologically and mineralogically the deposits belong to the 
gold-silver-selenites and manganites, which will be treated 
below. Economically their mining has as yet brought little 
success to the Treasury. The yield of the Tambang Sawah 
gold mine (Residency of Benkoelen — English : Bencoolen 
— Sumatra), over the year 1927 totalled up to 25,539,290 
kilograms silver, and 25,502 kilograms gold, having a value 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

of f. 1,675,783 (approximately ;^i40,ooo) equivalent to 
f. 40.40 {£ 2 ) 7s- 4d.) per ton. The net returns (yield 
minus working expenses) amounted to some ;i^53,coo in all. 

Four of the six private companies actually exploiting gold 
deposits in the N.E.I. have their mines situated in the 
above-mentioned Barisan Range in Sumatra, the other two 
being located almost at the top of the northern digitation 
of the Isle of Celebes. The ore is contained in true fissure 
veins of, geologically, recent age, and intimately connected 
with the andesite-trachyte-dacite intrusions of the region, 
which were accompanied by a strong propylitization of the 
vein and its casing. The main trend of the Sumatra veins 
corresponds with that of the Barisan Range (i.e., north- 
west-south-east), whilst two secondary directions are fairly 
common, at least in the Redjang Lebong region, the latter 
at their intersection with the main trend often causing an 
enlargement and a local enrichment of the vein and its ore 
contents. The vein filling chiefly consists of quartz and 
various sulphides, arsenides occurring rarely. The propor- 
tions of gold and silver vary greatly locally, sometimes the 
one, sometimes the other metal predominating. 

Mineralogically the ores may be classed into three main 
groups : the selenites (typified by the Redjang Lebong and 
Simau veins), the manganites (typified by the Equator and 
Tambang Sawah, Government, veins), and the sulphides 
(Paleleh veins). 

The analysis of a typical selenite ore specimen of the 
upper levels of the Lebong Donok vein (Redjang Lebong 
Gold-Mining Company) rendered : 


0-015 PGr cent. 



0-004 „ 



0-028 „ 

The manganitic ores are typified by those of the Govern- 
ment mines of Tambang Sawah (Bencoolen), and of the 
manganic deposit (Equator Gold-Mining Company) on the 
Padang Highlands of Sumatra. A specimen from the 
zone of cimentation of the Tambang Sawah vein gave 
the following analysis ; 








• cent. 

99-65 per cent. 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 245 

At one time these latter ores were considered rather 
refractory, in so far as the presence of manganese hampered 
a satisfactory extraction of the silver contents. Experi- 
ments simultaneously instituted by the Department of Mines 
at Batavia under the direction of M. H. Caron, m.e., and 
Professor Vermaes of the Technical University of Delft 
resulted, independently of one another, in establishing a 
treatment by which 95 per cent, of the silver contents 
could be recovered. 

The Paleleh ores of Celebes are very different to those 
of Sumatra. They mainly consist of an accompaniment of 
sulphides such as pyrrhotine, arseno-pyrites (mispickel), 
iron pyrites, blende and copper pyrites. It is a free milling 
ore, 60 per cent, of the gold being recovered by amalgama- 
tion, after which the tailings and slimes are concentrated, 
and these concentrates fusioned and the gold collected in a 
lead bullion. No cyaniding is applied. 

In 1927 the Redjang Lebong Gold-Mining Company 
produced 94,714 tons of ore with an average of ii‘3 grams 
of gold and 74‘5 grams of silverper ton (1*555 granis= i dwt.), 
and a value of f. 1,635,395 (;^i36,283) for some 35,000 
ounces and of f 267,371 (^22,280) for some 201,670 
ounces of gold and silver respectively. 

The productions of the other gold-mining companies 
were, for the same year 1927 : 

G.M. Companies. ! 




] Silver. 1 

1 1 



£ s. d. 

1 1 

1 1 

£ s. d. 

Simau G.M.C. .. 


202,000 0 0 

■ 687,300 j 

74.789 5 0 

Equator G.M.C. 
Kinandam - Sumatra 


63,633 17 0 

|j 500,000 

56,290 3 4 




8,287 ® 0 

1 192,907 

1 20,945 8 4 

Paleleh G.M .C. (Celebes) 
Bolang Mongondou 


22,240 5 0 

1 3.676 

1 399 8 0 

G.M.C. (Celebes) ... 


4.444 0 0 

! 292 


; 31 10 4 

(Gold and silver in ounces ; value of the £ calculated at f. 12. For details see 
Jaarboek v. h. Mynwezen in Nei.-Ittdte, 1927, Alg. Ged.) 

The total production of the N.E.I. in the year 1927 thus 
amounted to some 108,857 ounces of gold with a value of 
some ^436,800, and 1,586,845 ounces of silver with a value 
of some 74,700. (Compare annual outputs 1903-1927.) 

Far more important economically, and as far as quantity 
is concerned, is the Government Coal Mining Industry, 
which was up to a recent past the only coal producer in the 
Archipelago. The mines actually in exploitation are three 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

in number — (i)Sawah Loentoe,*(2) Boekit Asam, (3) Poeloe 
Laut — with a total annual yield of some 1,000,000 metric 
tons. The mines are respectively situated ; ( i ) to the 
north-east of Padang (west coast of Sumatra) ; (2) in Palem- 
bang (Southern Sumatra) ; (3) on the island Poeloe Laut, 
off the south-east coast of Borneo. 

The main coal producers of the N.E.I. are the mines 
situated in the Ombilien coalfields near Sawah Loentoe, the 
Soengei Doerian and Loera-Gedang mines. They are 
connected by rail with the port of Padang on the west 
coast of Sumatra, known as the Emma-haven (Port Emma). 
The line is famous both for its engineering works and for 
the beautiful scenery of the region it traverses on its course 
right across the mighty and highly volcanic Barisan Range, 
which is crossed in a direction nearly perpendicular to its 
trend. The coal is a Tertiary coal of good quality but 
rather friable, so that it cannot well support much tran- 
shipping. The seams have a shallow dip, are basin-like in 
development, and extend over a large area at comparatively 
a very shallow depth below the surface. Their thickness 
varies from some o'8o metre to 2 metres and more, and 
sometimes acquires a magnitude which becomes inconvenient 
for their extraction, especially because of the unsolidity of 
the roof casing-rock. Staff, skilled and unskilled labour are 
all imported, the latter mainly from Java. The production 
over the year 1927 was 482,573 tons net, of which 113,185 
tons were sold at Port Emma (Padang) as bunker coal and 
278,896 tons freighted to various ports (mainly Sabang, 
Singapore, and Tandjong Priok). 

The Boekit Assam Mines in Palembang produce a 
superior anthracitic coal fully equivalent to the best Cardiff 
bunker coals, which, however, is as friable as the Sawah 
Loentoe coal. A series of experiments were therefore 
instituted with a view to briquetting the material on a large 
scale. The attempts being at last crowned with success, a 
factory of large capacity was erected at Tandjong Priok, 
which in a few years attained an annual output of 100,000 
tons of briquettes. The entire output is as yet required to 
supply the wants of H.M. Navy and of the Government 
railways. The deposit, like all of its kind in the N.E.I., is 
of the Tertiary Age. It is remarkable, however, because 
of its having been transformed into an anthracite by the 
metamorphic action of a younger, interstratified magmatic 
intrusion. In 1927 the mines produced 299,013 tons net, 

The Dutch diphthong oe must be pronounced as the 00 in “ poor.” 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 247 

of which 85,435 tons were delivered to the briquette factory, 
and the rest sold as bunker coal. The third Government 
coal-mine is the one on the Isle of Poeloe Laut, having a 
net output (in 1927) of only 136,257 tons. The quality of 
the coal is equivalent to that of the Sawah Loentoe mines. 

Of the private coal mines, which all happen to be situated 
on the east coast of Borneo, the principal ones belong to 
the Oost Borneo My. (East Borneo Company), with an out- 
put (in 1927) of 208,154 tons; the N. V. Steenkolen My., 
Parapattan (Parapattan Collieries, Ltd.), closely connected 
with the Kon. Paketvaart My. (Royal Packet Navigation 
Company), with an output of 213,804 tons ; and the Malayan 
Collieries, closely connected to the Mynbouw en Handel 
My. “Goenoeng Batoe Besar,” with an output of 134,001 
tons all in 1927, and deduction made of the quantities 
required for their own consumption. On a total demand of 
some 1,500,000 tons in 1926, not more than some 270,000 
tons were imported, the rest being produced by the N.E.I. 
collieries, the principal producers of which we cited above. 
(Compare annual outputs 1903-1927.) 

Tin. — The N.E.I. until recently ranked second of all the 
tin-producing countries of the world,* being surpassed and 
followed at about equal distances respectively by the Feder- 
ated Malay States and Bolivia. As in other parts of the 
world, the occurrence of exploitable tin-ore deposits in the 
N.E.I. is closely connected with that of acid granites, in 
which it occurs in veins and as a subordinate constituting 
mineral, in the form of cassiterite (SnO^). The primary 
ore is contained in true fissure veins and stockwork, and 
the secondary ore in alluvial deposits. Up till recently the 
latter mode of occurrence was exclusively exploited in the 
N.E.I., and even now it is only the Billiton Joint Company 
which is exploiting vein ore on a large scale as well as 
alluvial ore. The Granite Massive, the central part of 
which has been found tin-bearing, extends from the Feder- 
ated Malay States over the Riouw-Lingga Archipelago, 
Bangka, and Billiton to the Karimondjawa Islands. Its 
eastern extension has not been located with certainty, and 
reports pretending that the natives of the Isle of Flores 
were probably tin-mining in an unknown past have not 
been confirmed in spite of vigorous researches. Outcrops 
of, lithologically, the same granite have been located in the 
south-western part of Borneo and the east coast of Sumatra 
adjoining the Isle of Banka. 

In 1928 the outputs of the three principal tin-producing areas were ; 
F.M.S., 61,898 tons ; Bolivia, 41,404 tons; and the N.E.I., 35,247 tons. 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

Tin-mining is respectively carried out by the Govern- 
ment of the N.E.I. on the Isle of Bangka; the Joint 
(Government-private) Billiton Company on Billiton ; the 
private companies: the Singkep Tin Company on Singkep 
and the adjoining islands of the Riouw-Lingga Archipelago, 
and by the Mining Company “ Stannum ” on the west coast 
of Sumatra. 

The total production may be classified as follows : 


Billiton J oint Com- 

Sinkep Tin Com- 

Mining Company 
“ Stannum ” 

354,270 picol Period March i, 1927, to Government mines. 

^ February 28, 1928 
188,469 ' Period June i, 1927, to 

' May 31, 1928 

12,737 »* I Period July i, 1926, to 

I June 30, 1927 

2,108 ,, ! Period June i. 1927, to 

■ May 31, 1928 

Joint - company 

Private limited 

Private limited 

(Sixteen picol are approximately equal to one ton.) 

The total production over the year 1927 was about 
34,500 tons of tin, representing a value of some 


The staff of the Government exploitation on Bangka in 
1927 consisted of 334 men, of which : i general manager, 
12 mining engineers, 2 chief mechanical engineers, 8 electro- 
technical engineers, l civil engineer, 5 European medical 
doctors, and 5 Javanese medical doctors. The labour 
employed is predominantly Chinese, working under in- 
denture or under contract, a group under a foreman, in the 
latter case, tendering and contracting for the exploitation of 
a certain area, and executing their contract under the 
supervision of the European official staff. The number of 
indentured labourers amounted to 19,783 Chinamen and 
329 Javanese; besides, 1,028 Chinese foremen, 1,552 
Chinese and 1,115 Javanese free labourers were employed. 
Excellent habitations and playing-grounds, first-rate 
hospitals and medical attendance, all at any time accessible 
to the critical eyes and ears of the officers of the Labour 
Inspection Department, are provided to staff and working 
men in accordance with the laws and regulations on the 
subject. Thus the institutions of social order, hygienic and 
otherwise, erected and maintained for the benefit of their 
contract labourers by private companies (mining acrri- 
cultural, and others) and by the Government, have univer- 
sally acquired a well-merited renown for their efficiency, and 
for the liberal scale on which the various hospitals, labora- 
tories, and other hygienic institutions have been erected 
furnished, and staffed. 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 249 

The principal mining centre, seats of the general 
manager and staff, and of the local government, are Singkep 
on the island of Singkep, Muntok on Bangka, and 
Tandjong Pandan on Billiton. 

Formerly the Bangka ores were melted and refined locally. 
Since 1922 some 30 per cent, of the output is exported to 
Singapore for treatment. As for the Billiton and Singkep 
ores, they are exported in toto to the said port, where they 
are melted and refined in the Pulu Brani works of the 
Straits Trading Company. The output of tin metal is then 
exported to the principal markets, London and Batavia 
besides Singapore itself, in ingots weighing about sixteen 
to the ton. We may add that the quotation of Bangka tin 
is always some ;!^io higher than that of standard tin. 

In a recent publication on native methods of mining Mr. 
P. Hbvig, M.E., records some remarkable facts about 
various indications Chinamen are accustomed to go by when 
prospecting for tin. Of course, the association of various 
minerals and the connection existing between the occurrence 
of certain plants and that of certain metallic substances in 
the soil has not escaped their cute attention. Besides, 
however, the flocking down of troops of certain white sea 
birds is considered to be good indication of rich ores existing 
some way down in the vicinity of the spot. The surest 
sign for the Chinese miner of Bangka that rich ore is hidden 
at some 4 or 5 metres below the surface is divulged to 
his sensitive eye by a dim glare of light which, it is 
pretended, should emanate from the spot on very dark 
nights. No European has yet succeeded in detecting it, but 
for the Chinaman it is gospel in which he puts such perfect 
faith that his tender for the exploration of the area 
concerned will be such as to secure its grant. It is still a 
matter of doubt whether their assertion should be placed in 
the realm of fiction or superstition, or whether it is founded 
on a good basis. (Compare annual outputs 1903-1927.) 

Mineral Oil 

The mineral oil deposits of the western part of the 
N.E.I. are all located in the anticlines of the Tertiary 
Formation, and principally, in fact, in the Neocene, whilst in 
the eastern part of the Archipelago some of them are of 
Mesozoic age. The productive upper oil horizon often 
reaches till quite near the surface, from some 300 feet 
onward, and is generally succeeded in depth by one or 
more other ones. As in other oilfields of the world, the 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

oil of the various horizons sometimes becomes of lighter 
composition with increasing depth ; yet light and heavy 
oil may also occur in one and the same part. Here, like 
elsewhere, the composition of the crude oil varies greatly, 
and thus the Perlak oil (Sumatra) with 52 per cent, of 
benzene and only 7 per cent, of residue forms the very 
contrast to the Tarakan oil (Borneo), which may directly be 
used as liquid fuel. As a curiosity it may be mentioned 
that up till recently — i.e., when motoring was in its infancy 
and aviation only just started — this high benzene percentage 
was considered a great nuisance and a heavy burden on the 
exploitation, as there was practically no market for this 
highly inflammable by-product. 

The importance commercially, socially, and economically 
of the mineral oil industry far exceeds that of all the other 
mining enterprises in the N.E. 1 . taken together. From 
data collected and published in “ Nederlandsch Indie ” by 
Mr. P. Hovig, M.E., ex-director of the Government 
Enterprises Department, we may quote that the following 
quantities were produced from refining the crude oil in the 
year 1924 ; 

Name of Product. 





Tons Consumed 
in the N.E, I. 













Solar and Diesel oil . . . 

1 18,000 











Wax ... 



Lubricating oil 




Impregnating oil 








Various products 








The value of the above products sold in the country itself 
represented some £21,000,000, and that of the liquid fuel 
some ;^4,400,ooo. 

The oil industry of the N.E. I. is of only recent date. 
The first concessions, in fact, were granted in 1873, and 
well-directed and capitalized exploration and exploitation 
was not realized before some twenty years later. The 
strong companies first in the field were the Royal Dutch as 
it is popularly called, the Dortsche Petroleum Company, 

Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 251 

now one of the subsidiary companies of the Royal Dutch, 
and the Shell Trading and Transporting Company, the 
first two of which had their concessions respectively on 
Sumatra and on Java, and the third on Borneo (Koetei). 
Years afterwards the Netherlands Colonial Petroleum 
Company was established, in which company American 
capital is largely interested, whilst the capital of the two 
first-named was preponderantly Dutch, and that of the Shell 
mostly British. The industry from its infancy went through 
an evolution similar to that of the American oilfields. 
Here, as in that case, a great number of big and small pro- 
ducers soon entered into vigorous competition for the sale 
of their products, which caused prices to become depreciated 
to a ruinous degree. As matters became critical, the great 
organizing power of J. B. A. Kessler, then managing 
director of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, succeeded 
in uniting the conflicting interests and establishing a common 
selling organization. After his death it was the genius of 
his successor. Sir Henri Deterding, k.b.e., who succeeded 
in bringing about a very close alliance between the Royal 
Dutch and the Shell Transporting and Trading Company, 
and who developed the combined concern with their several 
subsidiary companies into the mighty organization it has 
now become. Its main centres in the N.E.I. are Balik 
Papan on the east coast of Borneo, Pankalan Brandan on 
the east coast of Sumatra, Pladjoe (Sumatra), and Tjepoe 
on Java, where the oil from the various fields is collected in 
tank parks by means of pipe lines, tank steamers, etc., and 
where it is refined and otherwise treated, and its various 
products packed, barrelled, and shipped in freighters and 
tankers to different ports. (Compare annual outputs 1903- 

The table on p. 252 details the outputs of oil over 
1925, 1926, and 1927 of the various oil-producing concerns 
(Year Book, Mining Department, 1927). 

The old mining law, in fact, did not discriminate between 
oil (and other bituminous substances) and other minerals, so 
that concessions for its exploitation could be granted, and 
actually were. As mentioned above, however, oil now 
ranks under the “ b ” minerals, no exploitation of which is 
allowed except on special conditions {vide ante). The 
present law only dating from 1919, and various concessions 
on oil exploitation having been granted previously, 
and for a maximal term of seventy-five years, it is clear 
that the oil of the N.E.I. is actually being gained : (a) under 
the old concessions granted by the Government ; {b) 


The Mines and Minerals in the 

under concessions granted by self-governing native Chiefs ; 
{c) under special contracts with the Government in terms of 
the present law ; and {d) under joint-company arrangement 
with the Government, equally in terms of the present law. 

Statement of the Mineral Oil Production of the N.E.I. in the 
Years 1925, 1926, and 1927 

(^Extract from Year Book of the Mining Department oj the N.E.I., 1927) 

Name of Concession or 

Name of Holder of 

Production in Tons of 

of Area held under 

Concession or of Permit. 

1 ,000 Kilogrammes. 



1926. ' 


North Sumatra. 

Aroebaai ... ■ ■ • 1 


69,644 1 

97,508 1 


Boekit Mas 

Boekit S'.ntang 

Royal Dutch Petroleum 
Company 1 

21 ! 

595 i 

275 ; 

225 1 



21 1 

Telaga Said 

V ; 




Boeloe Telang 

Langkat Mining and 
Exploration Company 

6,018 ' 

4,206 1 

5,003 ; 




Oil Company, South 

2,753 ; 



Peureula ... 

Perlak Oil Company 

69,869 1 



Paja-Bilik ... 

Batavian Petroleum Com- 

— ! 



pany (Royal Dutch) 


South Sumatra. 




N.E.I. Mineral Oil Com- 







Exploration Company, 




Lematang ... 





Babat I. 

] f 

i 25,704 




1 Royal Dutch Petroleum J 

1 2,993 



Moeara Enim 

( Company 1 

1 99,263 



Soeban Djerigi 

J 1 





1 5,683 i 5,859 






Kenawang ... 




Kloeang ... 

Batavian Petroleum 

37,280 ! 49,698 



Soeban Boeroeng . . . 

1 Company ( Royal < 



1 25,322 

1 54,891 


Tandjoeng Loentar 
Tandjoeng Loentar 


; 25 




■ 549 


West Senabing 

1 487 



Karang Ringin 

Mineral Oil Company, 


; 1,771 


“ Moesi-Ilir ” 

Talang Akar 
Loeboek Batoe 
Mambang ... 

1 Netherlands Colonial 
j Petroleum Company 

I 160 

1 415 







Carried forward 

609, 1 1 1 



Netherlands East Indies Archipelago 


Name of Concession 
or of Area held 
under Permit. 

Name of Holder of 

Production in Tons of 

Concession or of Permit 

1,000 Kilogrammes. 





Brought forward ... 












Djepon ... 








Lidah Koelon . . . 

Batavian Petroleum 




Metatoe ... 

7 Company (Royal ' 









Panolan ... 








De Twaalf Dessa’s 





j v 





Petroleum Company 




“ Gaboes ” 

Klantoeng Sodjo- 

General Petroleum 







\ Netherlands Colonial f 





/ Petroleum Company \ 





Oriental Petroleum 





Lerpak (Madoera) 

Madoera Petroleum 






Moeara ... 




Tarakan I. 




Tarakan II. 

Tarakan V. 

Royal Dutch 
Petroleum Company 










Oeloe Karang 

Batavian Petroleum ^ 







Company (Royal 


Louise ... 

'1 Netherlands Indus- 
y trial and Trading -j 
J Company 1 




Nonny ... 




'Bot\?L {Ceram) ... 

\ Boela Petroleum J 




Nief Zuid (tif.) ... 

J Company \ 




Totals ... 




Finally, we quote from the annual report of the Royal 
Dutch Petroleum Company that in the year which closed 
June, 1928, the said company alone employed on their 
works in the N.E.l 2,645 Europeans and 47,600 natives. 
In the same period 600 kilometres of pipe lines were added 
to those existing, bringing the total length of the company’s 
lines in these regions to 4,500 kilometres. 

Graphical Representation of the Annual Production of some Minerals 
IN the Netherlands East Indies during the Period 1903-1927. 
Yearbook of the Mining Department, igz-j : General Section. 

(Id Metric Tons.) 

80 „ 

Mines and Minerals in East Indies Archipelago 255 

Of other minerals being exploited in the N.E.I. we may 
cite wolfram, which is extracted from the tin ores, iodine, 
which occurs in connection with the oil emanations (100 
tons in 1927), sulphur, of volcanic origin (some 500 tons in 
1927), alluvial diamonds from Borneo, and an increasing 
output of manganese. The latter ore is derived from the 
mines situated in the district of Koelon Progo, Province of 
Djogdjakarta. It occurs in layers of pyrolusite (manganese 
dioxide), which attain a thickness of to 2 metres, as 
interstratified banks having a roof of silicified marls or 
breccia, and a limestone floor. The ore is remarkably pure, 
and may attain 80 to 95 per cent, of manganese dioxide. 
The output amounted to 1 1,300 tons of 1,000 kilograms in 
1927. Manganese is, moreover, occurring in Sumatra, 
Java, Borneo, Celebes, and other isles in connection with, 
sometimes, vast deposits of iron ores, and may then attain 
a percentage which would qualify them as manganese-iron 
ores or ferro-manganese ores. 

As to iron-ore deposits, the N.E.I. may certainly rank 
among the countries which are exceedingly rich in that 
respect. Apart from being vastly extensive, various 
deposits may greatly differ mutually in composition and 
contain ores of excellent quality and within easy reach. 
The deposit of nickel-chromium-iron ores — e.g., of the Ver- 
beek Mountains in Central Celebes — is estimated to have 
a quantity of ore in sight, in fact, practically at surface, of 
some 400,000,000 tons, and a reserve of equal magnitude. 
The fields on the east coast of Borneo, which are only 
separated from the Poeloe Laut Collieries by the narrow 
straits of that name, are not much smaller. Along the south 
coast of Java and the Isle of Bali huge accumulations of 
titaniferous magnetite occur over vast areas ; and so we 
could continue enumerating for pages and pages. Little 
wonder, therefore, that the native iron industry throughout 
the length and breadth of the Archipelago (with the excep- 
tion of New Guinea and surrounding islands) was renowned 
from times immemorial, and its wrought iron and steel 
products, swords, daggers and spears, as much admired as 
feared by friend and foe. Yet, in spite of the excellence of 
ores, their accessibility from a miner’s point of view, and 
their abundance, no capital could as yet be sufficiently 
tempted to undertake their exploitation on a modern scale. 
An immense field for the display of human energy is here 
waiting for development. 

This conclusion, however, is not only applicable to the 
exploration and exploitation of iron ores. These vast 

256 Mines and Minerals in East Indies Archipelago 

regions, so lavishly blessed with a profusion of sun and 
rain and with a boundless fertility, are equally endowed with 
a mineral wealth as various as it is great, and which is 
jealously hidden by a deceptive, thick layer of decomposed 
material mostly crowned by virgin forest with aggressively 
thick undergrowth which is difficult to penetrate, and has, 
consequently, hardly been prospected. 

The mining industry of the N.E.l. is still in its infancy. 
However, the mining laws being liberal, the political, 
economical, and social conditions of the country attractive 
and sound, the treasures hidden in the soil are only too 
anxiously waiting for the stimulant and urge of capital, 
brains and courage to disclose their presence and to have 
their unknown wealth developed for the benefit of the 
explorer and the country alike. 

This concise sketch — for more it does not pretend to be 
within the space of an article, however liberally meted out 
to the present author — should not be terminated without 
the writer expressing his indebtedness to his friend Mr. P. 
Hdvig, M.E., ex-Director of Government Enterprises, for 
the sketch-map and various other data he graciously placed 
at his disposal and which are embodied in this paper. 

100 ' 




By The Right Hon. Viscount Goschen, 

P.C., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., C.B.E. 

Before I deal with the subject-matter of my address, 
perhaps you will permit me to make a few general and 
explanatory observations. 

In the first place let me assure you that I desire to appear 
before you today, in so far as I am able to do so, in the 
role of an historian and not in that of a prophet. I wish to 
present a picture of the working of the Reforms in the 
Madras Presidency, of the effect which I believe they have 
had on the character and the mentality of the people, and 
of the reasons which led the Government of Madras to 
frame and publish the Report which they submitted to the 
Simon Commission. From this it will be understood that 
on these three points I am only speaking for the Presidency 
of Madras ; indeed, it is only for that province I should be 
justified in speaking or have the adequate knowledge to 
express an opinion on these matters, and I shall endeavour 
not to trespass on any ground not covered by our Report 
to the Simon Commission. It may well be that the experi- 
ence of Madras is not the experience of all other provinces, 
and one of the many difficulties before the Commission may 
arise from that fact. 

Now I am fully aware that the audience I am addressing 
is composed of men who have an intimate knowledge of 
India, extending in the case of many over a far longer 
period than my own, but I am confident that they will 
agree with me, as I have had occasion to observe before, 
that it is one of the misfortunes of India that the British 
public know so little of the daily life and current events in 
India. Their interest is spasmodic : little attention is paid 


258 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

to the progress it is making in industrial development and 
commercial enterprises, in railway development, in health 
propaganda and research work and in many other directions ; 
but it is aroused by the political storms which sweep across 
the country, or by some outbreak, political, religious, or 
agrarian, which arouses the passions of the people. In the 
first place this attitude deprives the public of that mental 
balance so necessary for a calm and fair judgment, and in 
the second deprives those men, Indian and European, who 
are endeavouring to promote the moral and material welfare 
of the people, and to further their progress on constitutional 
lines, of the encouragement they deserve. With this 
preface of a general character I come to the main theme 
of my address, the working of the Reforms in Madras. 

The prominent feature of dyarchy, indeed its chief 
characteristic, is apt to be forgotten — namely, that it was 
only intended to be a transitional form of government. 
Its purpose was to teach the people responsibility: its 
actual effect has been to teach them irresponsibility, and 
that has been one of the main causes of its failure. For 
reasons which I will describe it has, perhaps, been more 
successful in Madras than in most provinces ; but even there 
we were faced with the perpetual anxiety that at any 
moment it might break down, and the efforts and energies 
of the Government were spent on maintaining the machinery 
in working order instead of being concentrated on its output. 

The Working of Dyarchy 

I presume that everyone present is acquainted with the 
system of dyarchy, but it may be brought home to those 
who have not had any personal share in its working if I 
describe it in terms of English political life. 

Let us imagine a House of Commons not a sovereign 
body chosen by an electorate which represents but a fraction 
of the population, a Ministry of which half is selected from 
the party in power while the other half is nominated by the 
King ; of the nominated portion half are selected from the 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 259 

ranks of the permanent Civil Service while the remainder 
may be, and sometimes are, selected by the King from the 
ranks of the Opposition ; all legislation and, with certain 
exceptions, all financial provisions, whether initiated by the 
elected or by the nominated members, must be passed by 
the House of Commons, while the King has extensive 
power of veto and is enabled to pass legislation, and in 
special cases to restore rejected items of expenditure to the 
Budget, against the will of the House. 

Let us now examine for a moment what have been the 
results in India of such a system. 

When a number of important departments were handed 
over, to the complete control of Ministers, these last 
were to depend for their continuance in office on securing 
and retaining sufficient support in the Legislative Council. 
A weakness of the system has been the inflexibility 
of the distribution of departments as between the two 
halves of Government, which was fixed by statutory rules. 
Certain safeguards were introduced, but the intention was 
that these should only be put into force when grave reasons 
of State intervened — for the whole theory of dyarchy was 
contained in the idea that the Ministers should realize the 
full force of popular currents, while the Reserved side 
should be free from such influence. But this theory proved 
fallacious, for so far as legislation and the provision of 
funds were concerned, the Executive Council was made as 
dependent on the Legislative Council as Ministers were. 
On the other hand, the Ministers were constantly supported 
by the official block and the nominated members, which 
rendered them independent of a majority composed of the 
elected members. I have known more than once in Madras 
a Ministry which has owed its continuance in power to the 
support of these two parties. 

Of course, it is true that a breakdown of Government can 
be prevented, or grave mistakes remedied by the powers 
conferred on a Governor, but it has always been understood 
that such powers should only be used in cases of emergency. 

26o The Working of the Reforms in Madras 
Results of the System 

From the foregoing description it can well be understood 
how this form of government has led, as I suggested, to 
irresponsibility. A representative form of legislature has 
been created which has the opportunity and powers of 
criticizing every department of Government, but which at 
the same time is not responsible for the consequences which 
may arise from its criticism. The Ministers chosen from 
the elected majority are not entirely dependent in the 
Council on the elective body, while on the other hand the 
Executive Councillors in charge of Reserved subjects are 
largely dependent upon it. Again, in the discussion of 
Reserved subjects the members of the Legislative Council 
could give free rein to their criticisms. They knew that on 
these subjects responsibility did not rest with them. Even 
in essential matters for carrying on the Government of the 
country, such as maintaining law and order, providing 
funds for necessary purposes, they could always please their 
constituents by posing as economists or as antagonists of 
the Government on unpopular measures in the full and 
certain knowledge that behind them existed the reserve 
powers of the Governor to amend the effects of their 
irresponsible action. 

A further result has been that many sober-minded, 
patriotic men have refrained from taking part in public 
affairs, and have stood aloof waiting until this atmosphere 
of unreality passes away and is replaced by one of responsible 

The Electorate 

So far I have spoken of dyarchy as it concerns the 
Government, the Ministers, and the Legislative Council. 
But there is another body whose relation to dyarchy and 
its effect upon it is often forgotten, and that is the body of 
the electors. In all the discussions on dyarchy, and in 
much that has been written upon it, very little reference 
has been made to them. In Madras Presidency, as else- 
where, the professional classes and those dependent on 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 261 

industry form a very small portion of the population. The 
principal qualification for enfranchisement is the payment of 
Rs. 10 per annum in land revenue to the Government, or a 
similar amount in rent to a landlord, and the bulk of the 
voters are of the small farmer class, men who have a very 
small margin of income and to whom a good or bad 
monsoon means probably the difference between indigence 
and making both ends meet. 

The Indian voter, as he becomes educated in the value 
of his vote, resembles, I suppose, electors in other countries. 
He believes that the chief duty of his representative is to 
look after that part of the world to which the voter belongs 
and secure for him a due proportion in the distribution of 
loaves and fishes. But there is one disability attaching to 
the Indian voter as the result of dyarchy which does not 
affect the citizens generally of self-governing States. There 
they learn that continued irresponsibility on their part will 
recoil on their own heads, and that internal or external 
confusion will result from it. As has been said, in the 
nature of things there is an automatic check, real if 
imperfect, on the exercise of political power, and the voter 
soon realizes that his welfare depends upon the character 
of the man whom he elects to represent him. 

And yet in India — and especially during the period of 
educating the elector — he is deprived of any incentive to 
exercise his power in a responsible manner. Meanwhile it 
is his attitude towards the Government of the country 
which will have the greatest influence on the constitutional 
development of India. If the voter grows up in the idea 
that use his vote as he may he will not suffer any penalty 
from his action, how can you expect success to attend 
further constitutional development ? 

And yet under dyarchy can any other result be expected ? 
For what constitute the most important items of Indian 
administration ? The maintenance of Law and Order and 
Finance. Since both of these are Reserved subjects in the 
hands of Members of the Executive Council, the voter 

262 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

knows that whatever action he takes the Government will 
continue to function, and that funds will be forthcoming for 
expenditure. He feels that he can skate about on thin ice, 
and that if he falls in he runs no risk, as he will be saved 
and restored to vigour. He will therefore never learn to 
be careful, for the consequences of his action impose no 
penalty upon him. And there is a further disastrous 
consequence of this, and that is that the longer the present 
system is maintained, and these characteristics developed in 
the voter, the more will they react on Members of Council 
and Ministers, and the less efficient will the machinery tend 
to become. Meanwhile the voter remains happy, he knows 
his life and property are protected, and that in cases of 
necessity funds will be found to deal with them. Why then 
should he not be irresponsible ? 

There remain now two points for consideration. 

1. If the state of affairs is as I have described it, how has 
it been possible for this dyarchic system of Government to 
work to the extent that it did in Madras } (I confine myself 
to Madras, as I can speak from personal knowledge.) 

2. Is there any remedy, and if so what, to deal with the 
evils which I have described ? 

The System in Madras 

I will endeavour to give you an answer to No. i. With 
the initiation of the Reforms and the subsequent elections for 
Legislative Councils, Governors of Provinces were faced with 
the task of forming a Government. The interpretation of 
this responsibility and of the relations of the Governor to his 
Ministers varied from province to province. Lord Willing- 
don, who was then Governor of Madras, was anxious from 
the first to make the experiment of parliamentary govern- 
ment on Western lines, and consequently he asked the 
leader of the Non- Brahmin party, which was the strongest 
party returned at the election, to form a Government. This 
was admittedly in the nature of an experiment. The basis 
upon which it rested was the division of parties, in the 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 263 

absence of any other lines of partition, by caste. Lord 
Willingdon hoped that, starting with the rigid division of 
caste, a parliamentary atmosphere as known to us in England 
might be created, and that parties on political lines would 
gradually assume shape. In this he was, as others have 
been, disappointed. But although the experiment did not 
fulfil such hopes I believe it to be fair to say that it did 
achieve a greater success than could have been obtained by 
any other method. For while institutions were in the 
melting pot, it secured, by constituting a strong and united 
opposition, a stability of parties in the Legislative Council, 
which preserved the form if not the soul of parliamentary 
government, and assisted in developing, without constant 
interruption, the administrative machinery. The system 
proved its usefulness in the initial stages, but should now be 
supplanted by party government on political lines. Madras 
was perhaps more fortunate than other provinces in the 
existence of two main parties. One of the difficulties of 
developing Parliamentary life in India is the absence of 
political parties as we understand them. 

Madras adopted the system of a “ First IMinister ” and his 
colleagues. The Governor, after an election, sent for the 
man whom he wished to be “ First Minister ” and if able to 
form a Government the future First Minister recommended 
the names of two members who should be his colleagues. 
Such a system, I believe, induced an increasing sense of 
joint cabinet responsibility, which certainly was a feature of 
the Madras Government. In Madras it has been the 
custom since the Reforms to hold cabinets — that is, meetings 
of both sides, the Executive Council and Ministers — when 
possible about once a fortnight unless important business 
has demanded more frequent meetings. This custom, not 
peculiar to Madras, afforded an opportunity for the exchange 
of views between the two sides of the Government; it 
enabled the Reserved side to gauge through the Ministers 
the parliamentary opinion of any piece of intended legisla- 
tion ; it gave the Ministers the chance of discussing matters 
strictly pertaining to the Reserved side. 

264 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

It was only by a spirit of give and take between the two 
sides, of mutual understanding and mutual forbearance, that 
the system could be made to work. That it has worked I 
attribute to the fact already emphasized, that the Legislative 
Council was di-vided into two parties and not into numerous 
factions ; and also that on the part both of the Reserved side 
and the Ministers there has been a genuine desire to work 
the Reforms, and that both during successive Ministries 
have loyally tried to assist each other. I should like to 
bear testimony to the assistance in this direction I received 
from all my colleagues, Indian and European alike. 

The Remedy 

And now I come to the most difficult part of my address, . 
and that upon which there must be diversity of views — 
namely, the remedy for the present unsatisfactory state of 

I have endeavoured to show the perils of dyarchy and 
the impossibility of continuing a form of government 
intended to be transitional and educative, but which has 
failed, during the period of its existence, to achieve its 
object. What are we to do, then? If we cannot, as I 
suggest, stand still, are we to go backward or are we to go 
forward ? If it is a question of time we have further to re- 
member this, that during this period of uncertainty for obvious 
reasons the machine is becoming less efficient. As the 
Madras Government says in its Report: “ No written word 
can restore vitality to a form of government which has been 
at bay for a decade.” The present system not only wholly 
fails to satisfy Indian sentiment, but is rapidly becoming 
unworkable. Dyarchy is not now practical politics. 

The immediate need is to develop responsible self- 
government in the provinces. Providing for this hypothesis, 
the further suggestion of the Madras Government for 
satisfying this need was to hand over all branches of the 
local administration to provincial legislative councils under 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 265 

certain safeguards while the machinery is in good running 
order, and not after a growing deterioration foredoom them 
to failure in their efforts. The recommendation has been 
made in the belief that it is only by allowing the Indian to 
reap as he has sown that he can be taught the meaning of 
responsible government. 

Unitary Government 

The proposals for carrying out this procedure in Madras 
are that, instead of the Governor’s colleagues consisting as 
at present of three Ministers and four Members of the 
Executive Council, it should consist of eight Ministers, 
amongst whom the portfolios should be distributed. The 
Chief Minister should not, as at present, have several 
portfolios, but at the most only one, as his time will be 
fully occupied. 

It is quite possible, indeed I think I might almost say 
probable, that, with the disappearance of dyarchy and the 
Reserved half and the increased importance of the vote, old 
parliamentary divisions will disappear and parties will rally 
round political programmes. 

One interesting suggestion, as carrying out the English 
system, was made in the Report, that an official, preferably 
a senior I.C.S. man, should be appointed as secretary to 
to the Cabinet, who would perform much the same duties 
as the secretary to the Cabinet does over here, and in 
addition would keep the Governor fully informed of the 
course of business of the Cabinet or the stage of any 
particular question. 

The Governor’s Powers 

The existing powers of the Governor will remain in his 
hands except in so far as those relating to Reserved 
subjects will be abolished as the result of the disappearance 
of the Reserved side. The rules for the transaction of 
business should be drafted by the Cabinet for the 
Governor’s approval, and should become operative to the 
extent of such approval. U nder our proposals the Governor 

266 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

would have in relation to the Ministry the powers which he 
now has under Section 50 (2) of the Government of India 
Act — namely, to override the Executive Cabinet when he 
considers that the safety, tranquillity, or interests of his 
province, or of any part thereof, are, or may be, “ essen- 
tially affected ” by a decision from which he dissents. 

In regard to the Legislative Council, the Governor's 
power of authorizing expenditure in cases of emergency 
should continue, to secure the safety and tranquillity of the 
province, but not merely to carry on a department, and he 
should have the power to order administrative action 
if such is necessary to secure in an emergency law and 

In regard to the provincial Public Services, a local 
Services Commission has to be set up. This Commission 
will examine and recommend, but the power of actual ap- 
pointment must remain with the Government. We have 
recommended that the Governor’s concurrence should be 
necessary in cases where the Ministers propose to make an 
appointment contrary to the recommendation of the Services 
Commission, and in the case of certain high appointments 
to be specified — e.g., heads of departments. Also where 
Ministers propose to take action in disciplinary cases with- 
out, or contrary to, the advice of the Services Commission, 
the concurrence of the Governor should be required. If in 
all these cases agreement cannot be reached the opinion of 
the Governor must prevail. 

The Superior Services 

This recommendation naturally leads me on to the impor- 
tant question of the All India Services. I cannot allow 
this occasion to pass without paying my tribute to the 
loyalty and devotion of the men who fill them. They have 
splendidly upheld the highest traditions of the Civil Service. 
In times of great difficulty and delicacy they have striven 
with all their heart in the midst of often disheartening 
circumstances to work the Reforms for the benefit of the 

The Working of the Refo'rms in Madras 267 

people. Their tact and unselfishness have saved many an 
awkward situation. 

I have had the honour of meeting them and working 
with them in the big departments of Government and in 
lonely outlying districts, and I have admired the manner in 
which they have always won the confidence and trust of all 
classes. I am confident that in Madras Ministers and 
Members of the Legislative Council would willingly 
acknowledge — indeed I have heard them do so — the debt 
of gratitude due to these public servants for the guidance 
and assistance they have so readily extended to them in 
their administrative work. 

It would take too much time at the end of what, I am 
afraid, has been an already lengthy address, to describe 
fully all the suggestions which the Madras Government has 
made to safeguard the interests of the Services, interests 
which they have very much at heart. The Madras 
Government takes the view that the All India Services in 
the province might be provincialized on the lines already 
being followed in the case of most of the All India Services 
on the Transferred side — e.g.^ the Indian Educational Ser- 
vice — and all the prospects the members of the Services now 
enjoy should be retained for them. There are the further 
questions of compensation where posts disappear, of the 
preservation of the right to retire on proportionate pension, 
and of new recruits. All these difficult questions have 
been considered and suggestions made. 

The Government hope that if provincial autonomy is 
granted the new Government formed under its rules will 
recognize the necessity of obtaining the assistance of the 
Indian Civil Service, to whom they owe so much, and will 
invite many of them to co-operate in working the 
Administrative Departments. Many Indians of widely 
differing views have assured me that for some time this 
must be their policy, as the assistance ot these gentlemen 
will be greatly needed. 

268 The Working' of the Reforms in Madras 
The Alternative 

Such were the proposals made by the Madras Govern- 
ment, and I am confident that I need not assure you that 
we did not conceive them merely as idealists, who, imbued 
by the spirit of freedom and progress, were so carried away 
by their theories that they desired to experiment with them, 
and were optimistically confident of a happy result. 

No, we realized to the full the difficulties and the risks 
inherent in the proposals, which as a responsible Govern- 
ment, responsible for the peace and order of the provinces 
and for the well-being of the people, we put forward. We 
weighed carefully the possible alternatives before us — to go 
back to the days before the Reforms were initiated, to 
maintain the stahis quo, or to go forward with a further and 
fuller grant of responsible government. 

In our view greater risks attached to the first two 
alternatives ; indeed, in view of all that had been said and 
promised by responsible statesmen, the first was impossible. 
The second, as I have already explained, we deemed 
unwise and impracticable, because it was and is demoral- 
izing politicians and the electorate by placing in their hands 
power without responsibility. And, further, in Madras 
there had been a genuine attempt to work dyarchy and a 
co-operation between the Reserved and the Transferred 
halves, often under circumstances of considerable strain and 

Thus in Madras we were led to the last alternative in the 
hope and belief that, freed from the unrealities of the 
present system, the politician and voter in Madras would 
more fully realize their great responsibility, and that, with 
the fog which now overshadows Indian political life swept 
away, they would, to their advantage and the advantage 
of their country, be brought face to face with the stern 
logic of facts. 

I have, as I announced at the beginning of my address 
was my intention, limited my remarks to happenings within 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 269 

the area of the Madras Presidency, and only endeavoured to 
give some account of the provincial administration, and that 
in the period when I was there. I have not attempted to 
discuss the important question of the Central Government 
which was outside the sphere of this address. I was 
privileged to be closely connected with the Central Govern- 
ment for only a very short time, but it was long enough to 
make me realize the difficulties and problems of other 
Provincial Governments, which differed in form and degree 
to those of Madras. This variation must greatly complicate 
the task of the Statutory Commission. 

I do not wish today to discuss the present political 
situation in India, but I would say this, that I am confident 
that there is a large body of thoughtful Indians who are 
sick and tired of all the noise and bickering and clamour of 
the violent-speaking section, and do anxiously desire a 
constructive settlement, which shall bring enduring peace. 
They realize the deep resentment caused by outrages such 
as that committed upon the Viceroy and Lady Urwin (to 
whom we offer our heartfelt congratulations on their 
providential escape) and the necessity of taking firm and 
stern steps to deal with those responsible for them. 

The present moment in the history of this country and 
India is pregnant with possibilities, and we are filled with 
concern as to the future. Heavy are the responsibilities 
thrust upon the Viceroy — the man on the spot — as heavy 
as any Viceroy has had to bear. I would make an earnest 
appeal that we in this country should not, either by the 
spoken or written word (words often torn from their context 
and mutilated in their telegraphed form), add to that burden 
which he has to bear. 

270 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 


A MEETING of the Association was held at Caxton Hall, Westminster, 
S.W. I, on Monday, January 20, 1930, at which at which a paper was read 
by the Right Hon. Viscount Goschen, p.c., g.c.s.i., g.c.i.e., c.b.e., on 
“ The Working of the Reforms in Madras.” The Right Hon. Lord 
Lamington, g.c.m.g., g.c.i.e., was in the chair, and the following, amongst 
others, were present ; 

The Maharaja Dhiraj Bahadur of Burdwan, g.c.i.e., k.c.s.i., i.o.m.. Sir 
Louis William Dane, g.c.i.e., c.s.i., and Lady Dane, General Sir Edmund 
Barrow, G.C.B., g.c.s.i.. Sir Reginald Craddock, g.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir Michael F. 
O’Dwyer, g.c.i.e., k.c.s.i.. Sir Arthur Knapp, k.c.i.e., c.s.i., c.b.e., Lady 
Knapp, and Miss Knapp, Sir James Walker, k.c.i.e.. Sir James MacKenna, 
C.I.E., and Lady MacKenna, Sir William Ovens and Lady Clark, Sir John 

G. Gumming, k.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir Alexander Cardew, k.c.s.i., and Lady 
Cardew, Sir Hubert Carr, Sir Walter and Lady Willson, Sir Robert E. 
Holland, k.c.i.e., c.s.i., c.v.o.. Sir Henry Lawrence, k.c.s.i.. Sir Edward 
Gait, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., Sir George Barnes, k.c.b., k.c.s.i., and Lady Barnes, 
Sir Reginald Mant, k.c.i.e., c.s.i., and Lady Mant, Sir Albion Banerji, 
C.S.I., C.I.E., Sir John Kerr, k.c.s.i., k.c.i.e.. Sir Richard Dane, k.c.i.e.. 
Sir Murray Hammick, k.c.s.i., c.i.e., and Lady Hammick, Sir Philip 
Hartog, C.I.E., and Lady Hartog, General Sir William Beynon, K.C.I.E., 
C.B., D.S.O., the Raj Kumar Saheb of Dhenkanal, Lady Scott MoncriefT, 
Lieut.-Colonel S. B. A. Patterson, c.s.i., c i.E., Mr. Henry Marsh, c.i.E., 
and Miss Marsh, Mr. J. B. Pennington, Dr. R. P. Paranjpye, Mr. P. K. 
Dutt, Mr. F. J. P. Richter, Mr. H. Harcourt, c.b.e., Mr. H. G. Stokes, 
C.I.E., and Mrs. Stokes, Mr. J. A. D. McBain, c.i.e,. Major H. B. Blake 
Taylor, c.b.e;, m.i.c.e., Mr. S. Lupton, o.b.e., the Rev. Dr. W. Stanton, Mr. 

H. B. Holme, Mr. J. E. Woolacott, Mrs. Martley, the Hon. Gertrude Kin- 
naird, Mr. F. W. D. Morris, Mr. B. W. Day, Mr. G. M. Ryan, Lieut.-Colonel 
and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Mr. J. Nissim, Mr. George Pilcher, Mr. Edwin 
Haward, Mr. Abdul Qadir Khan, Mr. C. B. Chartres, Miss E. L. Curteis, 
Mr. J. H. Fletcher, Dr. Gilbert Slater, Mr. B. B. Joshi, Mr. and Miss 
Hepburn, Miss Stacey, Mr. S. M. Siddiq, Mrs. Latifi, Dr A. M. Shah, 
Professor G. C. Bhate, Mr. W. F. Westbrook, Miss Corfield, Mr. F. Grubb, 
Mr. F. Pratt, Mr. F. Bentall, Mrs. and Miss Pitt-Collett Barnes, Miss 
M. E. Craske, Mr. and Mrs. O. C. G. Hayter, Mr. K. C. Keymer, 
Mr. E. H. Ashworth, Mr. J. W. Lewis, Mr. P. G. Robertson, Lieut. 
Colonel H. K. Sadler, Maulvi Farzand Ali, Mr. G. Scott Bremner, Mrs. 
Cameron Morison, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Willmott, Mr. B. W. Perkins, 
Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Holme, Mr. V. S. Ram, Mr. W. E. De Monte, 
Mrs. and Miss B. P. Byramji, and Mr. F. H. Brown, c.i.e., Hon. 

The Chairman : Ladies and Gentlemen, — I have the pleasure to intro- 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 271 

duce to you Lord Goschen, who has been good enough to honour us this 
afternoon with an address. He has just returned from a most successful 
tenure of office in the Madras Presidency, and also he has spent some 
months as Acting Viceroy of India. Therefore it is most fortunate that he 
has been considerate enough to prepare a paper for our attention. Several 
people have been unable to come this afternoon. I may single out Lord 
Ampthill, a predecessor of Lord Goschen in Madras, who has written to 
Mr. Brown to express his regret that he has an engagement made some 
months ago. He adds that it is a great disappointment to him to miss the 
lecture. There are a number of ladies and gentlemen here this after- 
noon, many of whom would no doubt like to ask questions afterwards or 
express some views concerning the question of the reforms in India. I 
would ask those who wish to speak to confine their remarks as far 
as possible to the subject-matter of Lord Goschen’s address, because if we 
are to wander into the great sea of opinions as to the future government of 
India our time will be occupied well up to midnight. Therefore I must 
ask speakers to restrict their remarks as far as possible to what has been the 
experience of the working of dyarchy in Madras. I do not say that I rule 
out any observations connected with any other parts of India, but I must 
ask you not to deal with the future but to confine your remarks to 
the past. 

The paper was then read. 

The Chairman : Ladies and Gentlemen, — We have listened to a very 
liberal-minded and thoughtful address founded on Lord Goschen’s 
experience of the administration in Madras during recent years. We 
realize the difficulties that have attended the working of dyarchy in 
Madras, though probably Madras was the one portion of India where it 
would work most favourably under the circumstances more or less indicated 
by Lord Goschen, and I believe myself that the remedies which he pro- 
poses or which have been proposed by the Provincial Government of 
Madras, that there should be autonomy of the province, is the one way 
perhaps of escaping from or solving the very difficult questions which are 
before the Indian Government and the Home Government. Up till now 
no doubt the Indian administration has been the most wonderful 
structure of administration which the world has ever seen, but it has been 
a unified structure. It has all depended upon the head — that is to say, 
the Viceroy ; his power has been very great indeed, and it has not allowed 
that scope for various particularities that attach to different portions of the 
Indian Empire. I believe that some kind of provincial autonomy must be 
the solution for these Indian problems. It has indeed been suggested to 
me by a political officer who goes further and says you might have smaller 
provinces — autonomy for Sind, autonomy for Gujarat, autonomy for the 
Punjab, and so on. By doing that you would develop responsibility and 
would cause the Indians to feel that they have a definite hand over the 
destinies of the part of India in which they dwell and in which they are 
interested. Full power of control must be retained by the Viceroy and 
Central Government. That is my own personal view, which is of course 

272 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

subject to what we shall learn from the Report of the Simon Commis- 
sion. (Applause.) 

Sir Arthur Knapp said that on behalf of those who had been in 
Madras he desired to extend a hearty welcome to Lord Goschen on 
his return to England. The affairs of Madras had not figured very 
prominently in the limelight at meetings of the Association. It was, how- 
ever, the oldest province in India and was still alive and vigorous, and its 
problems were of no less importance than those of other parts of India. 
Lord Goschen had stated that his purpose in writing the paper was two- 
fold : in the first place, to tell them something about the working of the 
reforms in Madras, and, in the second place, to set out the reasons 
which had led the Madras Government to put forward their scheme for the 
Simon Commission. When the Indian Central Committee published 
their Report in December last. The Times had urged that it would be wise 
to defer criticism until the Simon Commission had made their Report. 
He agreed with that view and thought that, so far as any proposals or 
recommendations which had been made for the consideration of the Simon 
Commission were concerned, it would be well that propaganda, either in 
support of them or against them, should be suspended. 

With regard to the other portion of Lord Goschen’s paper, which was 
an account of the working of the reforms in India, he personally diflfered 
in a good many particulars from Lord Goschen. He had left Madras 
in 1925. During the period he was in Madras he was brought into very 
close connection with the organization and working of the reform scheme. 
He thought it must be admitted that Lord Goschen had painted rather 
a depressing picture of the state of affairs in Madras. But it was not 
correct to attribute all the unfortunate results to dyarchy. They must 
remember that the discomforts under which the reserved side of the 
Government had laboured in the Legislative Council owing to criticism by 
an irresponsible opposition were shared by the members of the Govern- 
ment of India ; and there dyarchy did not exist. Lord Goschen, when 
he translated the constitution of Madras into English political terms, had 
referred to his having been a somewhat mixed Ministry. There had 
never been any justification for his suggestion that members of Council 
and Ministers formed a Ministry in the English sense. The Joint Com- 
mittee of Parliament had made it quite clear that there was to be the most 
definite separation of responsibility. He was inclined to think that it was 
rather the departure from the intention of the Act than the Act itself 
which had led to many of the difficulties to which Lord Goschen 

The effect of Lord Goschen’s paper was to suggest that the experiment 
of the last five years had entirely failed to instil a sense of responsibility 
either in voters, in the elected members, or in Ministers. Personally 
he did not agree with that view. It was impossible to suppose that nine 
years of work in office and in the Legislative Council should have failed 
to leave a very strong sense of responsibility. He thought the Madras 
Government had probably turned their eyes rather too much to the spec- 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 273 

tacular side of the business — namely, the Legislative Council itself — and 
had not sufficiently recognized the extremely solid and useful work that 
had been done by members from all sides of the House in the committees, 
of which there was a large number. It seemed impossible to believe that 
these members, of whom there were many, should have failed to derive 
from their experience a very large recognition of the responsibilities and 
obligations attaching to the work of government. (Applause.) 

The Maharaja of Burdwan said it was not his intention either to 
criticize Lord Goschen’s paper or to defend the working of the dyarchy 
during the last five years, or in any way to support the Report of the 
Government of Madras with regard to the granting of full provincial 
autonomy. He had not a copy of the Report in question, and therefore 
was unable to deal with it even from the Madrassi point of view. They 
were very grateful to Lord Goschen for giving his own experience of the 
working of dyarchy in the Madras Province during the five years of 
his governorship. Lord Goschen had been courageous in denouncing 
dyarchy and in pointing out that it was a system which, however much it 
might have been necessary in the transitional stage, did not teach responsi- 
bility. Having been a member of the Executive Council of the Govern- 
ment of Bengal for nearly six years, and for nearly half of that time having 
worked dyarchy in that province, he could substantiate the fact that the 
members of the Executive Council were willing to give every assistance 
to the Ministers. Regarding the reserved side of the Government, the 
Ministers had to keep their mouths shut on matters relating to reserved 
subjects they had to deceive their own constituents with regard to the 
information they had as regards the Government. In his opinion strength 
could only be obtained by a uniform form of government, and, whether 
provincial autonomy was possible in India in all the provinces or not, 
he thought they must focus their attention on the necessity of having 
a unified form of government in the different provinces of India. He 
thought it would be wise to defer any remarks with regard to the subjects 
which were at the present time being considered by the Simon Com- 
mission, but he agreed with Lord Goschen in thinking that all those who 
had the future welfare of India at heart must not in any way embarrass the 
Viceroy with any criticism at the present juncture in view of the activities 
of the extreme wings in India. He thought that this attitude was essential, 
not only with regard to officials and non-officials in India, but also with 
regard to those who had retired from service in India and were residing in 
England, because there was in India a passive revolution which might 
become active at any moment, and therefore those Indians who had the 
welfare of the country at heart would have to co-operate in putting 
down with the strongest hand possible any movement towards revolution. 

Dr. Gilbert Slater wished to thank Lord Goschen for his paper and 
in particular for his testimony to the work of Lord Willingdon. He had 
been a member of the first Legislative Council of Madras under the 
reforms for one year, and had arrived at the opinion that the course 


274 Tfie Working of the Reforms in Madras 

adopted by Lord Willingdon was not only the best possible in the circum- 
stances, but also successful far beyond any reasonable expectations. He 
thought part of the fog to which Lord Goschen had referred in his paper 
was due to the fact that Indians frequently understood a particular phrase 
in a different manner from that in which it was understood in this country. 
That remark applied to the words “ Dominion status.” When Indians 
spoke about “ Dominion status ” he thought they meant Dominion status, 
but when Englishmen spoke about “ Dominion status ” it appeared that 
they meant a particular form of government, such as was in force in 
Canada and Australia. He believed Indians meant by “ Dominion 
status ” just merely that the connection between India and the rest of the 
Empire must be one that was in no sense derogatory to Indian self- 
respect. The Indian wanted to feel himself as much a free citizen of the 
great federation as any Canadian or Australian ; he did not mean any 
particular form of government. He believed what the Indians wanted for 
India and what the British electorate wanted for India was exactly the 
same thing — that India should be prosperous and contented, and that 
India should have the largest measure of liberty and opportunity for 
development of its people that was possible for a country which was so 
vast and which had such an extraordinary variety of difficult problems 
to deal with. (Applause.) 

Sir Albion B.a.nerji said that, although he formerly belonged to the 
Madras Civil Service, during the period when the reforms were at work 
in the Madras Presidency he happened to be in service outside Madras, 
and, as an outsider, he wished to make a few remarks as to how the 
system of dyarchy worked in Southern India. In his humble judgment, 
the system of dyarchy in Madras worked as satisfactorily as was possible 
under the leadership of Lord Willingdon, and that had been chiefly due to 
the fact that the Madras politicians, the Madras official and non-official 
gentlemen, tried their level best to work the reforms in the spirit in which 
they were granted. (Hear, hear.) He thought Indians could work with 
the greatest possible success if they put their heads together in a spirit of 
true co-operation. During the time he had been in Mysore he had had 
an opportunity of looking at the working of the reforms both in the Legis- 
lative Assembly and in the Executive Government under the dyarchial 
system. Several matters which had come up for discussion between the 
Government of Madras and His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore had 
made him realize that, however successful dyarchy was, in a sense there was 
something intangible in the form of constitution as to what dyarchy meant. 
In dealing with the Executive there was a certain sense of uncertainty as to 
the lines on which the very important questions which were discussed were 
to be dealt with. Were the Ministers or were the Executive Councils 
responsible to the Government of India or to the British Government, 
or was a Minister responsible to the electorate who had returned him to 
the Legislative Council ? The Ministers held a certain point of view as 
representing the electorate, and the Executive Councillors held another 
point of view as representing the portion of the Government which was 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 275 

responsible elsewhere. That illustrated the difficulty which the Madras 
Government had had to face in dealing with matters affecting the well- 
being of the people at large. There was no sense of united responsibility 
either in the individual Ministers or in the Executive Council, and nobody 
knew what position they would take up. It had sometimes happened 
that the Mysore Government had had discussions with the Executive 
Council and at other times with Ministers, but they were not in a position 
to take responsibility which a unified Government could take in matters 
of the kind to which he referred. In his opinion dyarchy was a mistake. 
It was probably introduced to train Indians during a period of transition 
in the art of government, but the future historian might attribute to the 
system the principle of divide etimpera. In his opinion the idea of having 
an Executive Council which was in a sense responsible to the Legislature 
was opposed to all ideas of democratic government, and he thought that 
in all parts of India it was a kind of make-believe, which was bad for the 
Government as well as for the people. The acceptance and carrying out 
of a policy must be left to one body, and for that reason dyarchy was 
not a success. The responsibility should be vested in one united body, 
whether it was autocratic, bureaucratic, or democratic. (Applause.) 

Sir Reginald Craddock agreed in thinking that it was undesirable to 
express opinions on matters which were directly under consideration by 
the Simon Commission at the present time. It was a common thing to 
attribute the difficulties in regard to lack of responsibility to dyarchy. 
Personally he had opposed the introduction of dyarchy, because he felt 
that a Government could not be carried on in watertight compartments 
which were necessarily leaky. What had been said by Lord Goschen and 
others had proved definitely that dyarchy was not a good measure by 
which to inaugurate a new government, whatever form that government 
might take. Such a form of government as that which had been intro- 
duced in India, whether as an experiment or otherwise, had never been 
heard of in any other country. Lord Goschen’s observations based on his 
own experience had been extremely interesting, but he had rather assumed 
that the lack of responsibility of which he complained had been directly 
due to the dyarchial system, and that with the abolition of that system it 
would disappear. He thought personally that before coming to such 
a conclusion they would require considerably more evidence than could 
possibly be laid before them within the scope of a short paper. Whether 
there was dyarchy or any other form of government, a man expressed his 
sense of responsibility by the manner in which he approached public 
problems and difficulties, without any reference to whether he had been 
elected by the electorate or appointed by the Government. He viewed 
with great misgiving the proposal of the Madras Government to hand over 
law and order to a Minister, not because such a man as an Executive 
Councillor could not be entrusted with such powers, but because as a 
Minister he would be liable to powerful influences from which, as an 
Executive Councillor with the support of his Government, he was almost 
free. He also viewed with great concern the proposal to provincialize the 

276 The Working of the Reforms in Madras 

security services. As a member of Lord Lee’s Commission, he had agreed 
that the transferred services should be provincialized reluctantly, because, 
although his Indian colleagues on the Commission had assured him that 
Ministers would go on asking for more European candidates and that 
there was no doubt about their being available, he had met Ministers in 
one province, he would not say which, who had said that they desired to 
have more Europeans in the services, but were unable to say so publicly 
because it would be as much as their position was worth. To the best of 
his knowledge no local Government had even yet so reorganized its 
provincial services as to make it possible for British candidates to be 
obtained. With five years’ experience behind them, it seemed improbable 
that in either the services already transferred or the other services if trans- 
ferred there would be any improvement with regard to the recruitment of 
the British element. He was convinced that some British element in the 
services was necessary in the circumstances of India. He was afraid that 
irresponsibility could not be cured by irresponsible voters paying their 
revenue or rent. He regarded the proposal of the Madras Government, 
which was not shared by any of the other Governments in India, with the 
deepest misgiving. 

Mr. Chartres said that, although the present scheme of government 
was a theoretically workable scheme for a theoretically perfect Legislative 
Council and for a Government in which every member had the will to 
work the scheme, there were loopholes for irresponsibility and obstruction, 
of which great advantage had been taken in many cases. Lord Goschen 
had referred to the success of the scheme in Madras, but there was one 
omission from his paper. All those who, like himself, had had the privilege 
of seeing the work of Lord Goschen in Madras would agree, he was sure, 
that the devotion to duty which he showed to the Government and to the 
people of the Presidency had gone a very long way to conduce to the suc- 
cess which the reforms had achieved in Madras during the past five years. 
He wished to emphasize a point which had been made by a previous 
speaker — namely, that for a long time to come the security services should 
be manned, as they had been in the past, by men from that excellent body, 
the Civil Service. If those services were provincialized, the present high 
standard of recruits to the service would not be maintained. There was the 
further point that the Central Government must have a staff to carry 
on its work in India, and it must have highly trained recruits to maintain 
that staff. 

Lord Goschen, in reply, said he was deeply grateful to the gentlemen 
who had taken part in the discussion for the kind expressions which they 
had used with regard to his address and for the kindly criticism which they 
had made on various points in it. Speaking for the province of Madras, 
with all modesty he believed that, for the various reasons which he had 
given, the reforms had worked perhaps better than they had done in any 
other Presidency. The Government had always felt that the present was 
a form of government which might at any moment break down. Sir 
Reginald Craddock had suggested that he had said that dyarchy was 

The Working of the Reforms in Madras 277 

responsible for irresponsibility, and therefore that he was inclined to think 
that responsibility would at once come from some other scheme, but he 
would not go to that length. He believed that the present scheme had 
been responsible for teaching a great deal of responsibility, which was the 
reason why the Madras Government had made the suggestions referred to, 
although even then the sense of responsibility could not be expected 
to come at once. The transfer of further subjects from the executive to 
the transferred side would, in his opinion, gradually increase and teach the 
sense of responsibility which they all hoped to see. He was quite aware 
that there were many omissions from his address, but the subject was a 
large one and it had not been possible to deal with the matters more fully. 
He was extremely grateful for the kind reception which they had given 
him, and it was a great pleasure to him to see friends from Madras with 
whom he had worked during the time they were in the Presidency. 

Sir Louis Dane, in proposing a hearty vote of thanks to the Lecturer 
and the Chairman, said that there was no doubt it was essential that there 
should be a strong Central Government if any reforms were to be success- 
fully carried out. 



By the Right Rev. E. J. Palmer, D.D. 

(Late Bishop of Bombay) 

Allow me to begin this paper by expressing my thanks to 
the Council for inviting me to address the Association on 
this occasion. The projected union of Churches in South 
India is being discussed throughout England, and scarcely 
a day passes without reference to it in some of the news- 
papers. Your valued Secretary suggested that I should 
give some account of this union to your Association, placing 
it in its proper perspective as one of a long series of move- 
ments, and at the same time he asked me to add something 
about the Indian Church Act and Measure of 1928 which 
will come into force finally on March i this year. I will take 
the last-mentioned subject first because it is only indirectly 
connected with the main theme of my paper. 

The Indian Church Act. 

As many of the members of the Association must know, 
the Indian Church Act and Measure combined give to the 
Church which has hitherto been called the Church of 
England in India complete administrative autonomy. Up 
till the date I mentioned this Church was considered in law 
as a part of the Church of England, though it happened to be 
situated 6,000 miles distant from this country. The ecclesi- 
astical laws of England were the laws of that Church, with 
the exception of any points in which the Letters Patent 
creating the Sees of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay had 
altered or limited them. The Metropolitan Bishop in 
India was under “ the general superintendence and revision 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury,” though this clause of the 
Act of 1833 had never been put in force, and indeed no 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 2 79 

procedure was provided by which it could be enforced. 
On the other hand, the Church in India was wholly un- 
represented in the Church Assemblies in England, whether 
the Convocations or the National Assembly. This anoma- 
lous position was further complicated by great legal 

Two developments in India made the continuance of this 
position well-nigh intolerable. It was in effect a position 
of quasi-establishment. It may well be doubted whether 
even in a Christian country, where the government is in 
the hands of Christian men, it has ever been beneficial 
to the Church to be established ; but when under the Indian 
reforms of 1 9 1 7 the Government of India in all its branches 
passed into the hands of a majority of persons who were 
not Christians, establishment, or even quasi-establishment, 
of a Christian Church became absurd. 

Secondly, as the number of Indians in the Church in- 
creased, it became clear that the ecclesiastical laws of 
England were more and more unsuitable to them. One 
of the ecclesiastical laws of England is, as you know, the 
Act of U niformity, which prescribes the use of the Prayer 
Book in public worship. Now it is true that we have 
translated the Prayer Book into most of the vernaculars of 
India, but that very process has shown how alien it is both 
from the languages and from the genius of the peoples. 
Consequently, it was urgently necessary that the Christians 
of our Church in India should be free to develop their own 
forms of worship, and that there should be no legal obstacle 
to their doing so. You will remember that in the Act 
ample provision is made for the continuance of the English 
services to which English people have been accustomed in 
England, and the Act expressly refrains from interfering in 
any way with the provision that the Secretary of State 
and the Government of India make for the religious minis- 
trations to British soldiers and other British Christians in 
their employ. 

These are the principal objects and the principal pro- 

200 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

visions of the Indian Church Act and Measure. The 
direct bearing which they have upon the main subject of 
my paper is twofold. First, none of the other Christian 
Churches in India are in any way established, and a union 
between our Church, while in a certain sense established, 
and these other Churches was impossible. Second, the 
complete freedom of action which the Act and Measure 
gives to the Church in India enables it to make such a 
union as is now proposed without the consent or leave of 
the Church of England or any authority in it. We hope 
to have the approval of that Church to our action, but it 
would have been a very different proposition if that action 
had required the official consent of the Church to be given 
by the usual legal procedure of Convocation or the National 
Assembly and Parliament. 

Union of Churches in India 

I will now pass to the main subject of this paper, and 
I will divide what I have to say into two parts. First 
of all I will endeavour to give some impression of the 
movement which has long been going on for a greater 
unity between Indian Christians and between the Churches 
which are doing missionary work in India. After that I 
will briefly describe some features of the proposed scheme 
of union in South India. 

Few people can be aware of the great number of different 
missions which have worked and are working in India. In 
the past the great missionary efforts were not so much 
divided. The first of these efforts, whether headed by 
St. Thomas or not, produced the Syrian Christians of 
Malabar. So far as we are aware, they did not split into 
sects until after the coming of the Portuguese the Roman 
Church tried to bring them into subjection to the Pope. 
When the Portuguese Empire passed away, a majority of 
the Syrian Christians threw off their allegiance to Rome and 
received Bishops from Assyria. These Christians are at 
the present moment divided into three separate bodies 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 281 

exclusive of the Romo-Syrians, as they are called in the 
census, who are the Uniats who have remained faithful to 
Rome. The other Roman Catholic Christians in India 
have a great measure of unity amongst themselves, although 
until two years ago the exceptional jurisdiction of the 
Archbishop of Goa and the Bishops under him modified 
that unity in the west of India. The missions of other 
Christian Churches, which may be said to have begun in 
the last half of the eighteenth century, are numerous and 
disconnected. Those at present working in India represent 
at least ninety Churches independent of each other in 
Europe, America and Australasia. Some of these missions 
belong to Churches of almost absolutely the same faith 
and organization. The earliest effort towards unifica- 
tion was attempted at a Conference at Allahabad in 1871 
between representatives of four Presbyterian Churches. 
Obvious as the desirability of uniting the Presbyterians in 
India might seem to be, this was not accomplished till 
thirty-three years later. 

In the meanwhile, negotiations had begun in Southern 
India for a union which was not wholly Presbyterian, and 
the Presbyterian Churches in South India, when they 
entered in 1904 into the Presbyterian Church in India 
reserved to themselves the right to withdraw from it if they 
had opportunity to form a more inclusive unity in their own 
part of the country. That opportunity came in 1908 when 
they joined with Churches founded by certain Congrega- 
tional and Reformed Missions to make the South India 
United Church. In 1926 a similar union was made between 
the remaining Presbyterians and certain Congregational 
Churches in Western and Northern India, which is called 
the United Church of Northern India. Both of these 
unions represent a combination of the principles of Presby- 
terianism and Congregationalism. In 1919 there began a 
movement in South India which, if it is consummated, will 
end in a combination of those principles with the principle 
of episcopacy. This is the movement which is now being 

282 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

so widely discussed. It affects the Church of India, Burnici, 
and Ceylon, so far as regards its South India dioceses, and 
the South India United Church, and the Wesleyan Church 
in South India. 

Before I pass on to describe that union in any detail, I 
should like to draw the attention of this meeting to some of 
the forces which make for unity between Christians both in 
India and in other parts of the world. So far as the 
European countries and North America are concerned, 
there is not, I am afraid, anything like a serious desire for 
union of Churches, but at the same time there is a consider- 
able drawing together of Christians. In England itself 
this has been facilitated, to an extent often forgotten but very 
important, by the opening of the old U niversities of Oxford 
and Cambridge to persons other than the members of the 
Church of England. A personal experience will illustrate 
the importance of this. I have enjoyed intimate friendship 
with several men who have become prominent leaders 
amongst the Nonconformists ever since my early Oxford 
years, whereas my father, who was, like me, both a scholar 
and a fellow of his College, had no such friendships. 

In addition to this there have been definite movements 
among the younger generation — the Student Volunteer 
Missionary Movement and the Student Christian Move- 
ment — which have brought together the keenest men and 
women of each Christian generation. The same thing 
may also be said of the world-wide organizations of the 
Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. None of these organizations 
have existed for the purpose of uniting Churches, but they 
have united men and women in friendship. They have been 
partly caused by the drawing together of Christians and 
have in turn added momentum to it. It may, I think, fairly 
be claimed that the atmosphere is more charitable and less 
competitive than it was seventy-five years ago. 

A great deal more than this can be said about Christians 
in those countries where the majority of the inhabitants are 
still not Christian, and a small Christian community is 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 283 

maintaining itself in face of opposition and misunderstand- 
ing. The great difference which separates all of these few 
Christians from the multitudes whom they have left 
reduces to insignificance any differences that there may be 
between the Christians themselves. They naturally feel 
themselves united simply by the fact that they are Chris- 
tians. Again, they feel themselves united by the bond of 
common nationality. For instance, in India they are not 
only Christians but Indian Christians. They resent being 
separated by divisions which have been imported from 
foreign countries and for which Indians were themselves in 
no way responsible. Again, they are patriotic and desire 
as a community to serve their country. The greatest 
service that Indians could do to their country is to unite it. 
Divisions and contentions have brought disaster to India 
for many centuries. Indian Christians wish to be united 
themselves and to be able to offer to India a bond of 

I am aware that there may be amongst my audience 
some members of the Association who are not Christians. 
They will not agree with the belief which I share with the 
Indian Christians that the greatest benefit which could 
come to India would be the general acceptance of 
Christianity. Though they may not agree with us, they 
will be able to understand both our beliefinourown religfion 
and in its power for good, and, more particularly, how much 
we wish that its power for good should be exercised in such 
a way that it brings in its train union of hearts and an end 
of faction and hatred. Those Indian Christians who most 
desire the union of the Christian Churches are also the 
keenest on spreading their own faith amongst their fellow- 
countrymen. They are keen on this because they wish not 
only to save individual men’s souls but to save India. 
Almost exactly the same would be said by Chinese 
Christians, and I have heard them say these things with 
my own ears. The desire in the indigenous Churches of 
Asia for Christian union is in each case combined with an 

284 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

intense patriotism. It is also combined with a desire to be 
more free to develop Christian life in those countries in a 
manner more appropriate to the traditions and aptitudes of 
their peoples. 

Scheme for Union in South India 

I can scarcely suppose that it would be your wish that I 
should go into the details of the South India scheme in this 
paper, nor that I should enter into the points of theological 
and ecclesiastical controversy which have been raised in 
connection with it. If there is interest in these points, I 
should be perfectly prepared to explain any of them in 
response to questions. 

The members may desire to know what are the constitu- 
tional steps required for carrying this proposed union of 
Churches into effect. All the three Churches which are pro- 
posing to unite differ in regard to the steps which they 
must take. The South India United Church is an 
autonomous body. It can adopt the scheme of union by a 
vote of its General Assembly if that vote is endorsed by a 
majority of its eight district councils. The scheme has 
been before the Assembly in October, 1929. It was dis- 
cussed and various amendments were suggested. The 
scheme has been sent to the district councils for their 
opinion, and their opinion has been asked also on the amend- 
ments. The scheme will come up again in the autumn of 
1931, and if it should be passed then, whether amended or 
not, it will still require the actual consent of a majority of 
the district councils. But no consent outside India will be 
required in the case of the S.I.U.C. 

The case of the Wesleyan Church is almost the exact 
opposite of this. The South India Provincial Synod of 
that Church is unable to do anything final in the matter 
without the consent of the Wesleyan Conference in Eng- 
land, and in order that it may adhere to the scheme, that 
Conference will have to give the South India Synod its 
independence, and also to consent to the purpose for which 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 285 

it desires independence — viz., in order that it may adopt 
this scheme. 

The Church of England in India, or as it will soon be 
called the Church of India, Burma, and Ceylon, will, after 
March i, become, as I have explained, autonomous, and 
will be able to adopt the scheme without reference to any 
authority in England. Its method for doing so is approval 
by two sessions of the General Council which must be 
separated by at least twenty-one months in order to give 
Diocesan Councils time to consider and report upon the 
scheme. The General Council has, however, undertaken 
not to adopt the scheme without first hearing any advice 
which the Lambeth Conference may think fit to give about 
it. The General Council will therefore refer the scheme to 
the Lambeth Conference for advice. The Lambeth Con- 
ference has always refused to give anything but advice, but, 
on the other hand, it is incredible that it would refuse to give 
any advice on a matter of such great importance when 
formally appealed to by one of the Churches which is repre- 
sented in the Conference. The effect of this consultation 
of the Lambeth Conference will probably be that the earliest 
date on which the Church of India, Burma, and Ceylon 
could adopt the scheme would be 1934. 

I will next attempt to give a brief sketch of the most 
prominent and characteristic features of the scheme. As I 
have observed, one of the Churches which is involved in the 
scheme is itself the product of a union. The South India 
United Church has amalgamated Presbyterians and Con- 
gregationalists and a much smaller number of adherents of 
missions of the Dutch Reformed Church in America and of 
the Basel Mission which is evangelical of the continental 
type. The resulting constitution is a very fair blend of the 
constitutions of the Churches which came together. A 
good deal of liberty is left to the individual congregations, 
but at the same time they are united together by councils, 
which are in principle Presbyterian. With this amalga- 
mated Church it is proposed that the Church of England in 

286 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

India and its missions and their adherents in the south 
of India should join and also the Wesleyans in the same 
area. This will involve combination of constitutional 
elements still more different than those which are combined 
in the S.I.U.C. The United Church will have bishops 
who will maintain the historical succession and will be the 
only necessary ministers of ordination. They will also 
perform all the other functions which belong in history to 
the order of bishops, but for the greater part of these they 
will require to obtain either the advice or the actual con- 
sent of other clergy and of laity in the councils of the 
Church. This is to a very large extent a return to the 
primitive theory of episcopacy, and at the same time it 
preserves the Presbyterian principle of the responsibility of 
the whole Church for its government. Further, the congre- 
gations will have a considerable amount of liberty, especially 
with regard to the forms of their worship. No single form 
will be imposed upon the whole Church. In this and some 
other respects the principles of Congregationalism find a 
place in the constitution. 

The members of the Association will probably have 
heard that the main difficulty in this and in all schemes 
of unity hitherto proposed between episcopal and non- 
episcopal churches is concerned with the existing minis- 
ters of the non-episcopal churches. It is a view largely 
held among Episcopalians that certain sacraments, in par- 
ticular the Sacrament of Holy Communion, can only be 
ministered by bishops and priests who have been ordained 
by bishops in the succession. The problem which thus 
arises has been solved by the scheme in the form that the 
ministers of the non-episcopal churches shall continue to 
minister after the union as they have done before, but that 
they will not be transferred to churches where their 
presence would conflict with certain general provisos, 
especially that — 

“ The United Church will be careful not to allow any overriding of 
conscience by Church authorities or by majorities, nor will it in its ad- 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 287 

ministrative acts knowingly transgress long-established traditions of any 
of the uniting churches.” 

“ It is the intention and expectation ” [of the uniting churches] “ that 
eventually every minister exercising a permanent ministry in the United 
Church will be an episcopally ordained minister.” 

The main questions now in controversy centre round 
this. On the one hand, the champions of episcopacy appear 
to consider that no exceptions ought to be made to their 
principles, and they regard the continued ministry of the 
ministers of the non-episcopal churches without reordina- 
tion as an exception to their principles which cannot be 
tolerated. On the other hand, those who have inherited 
a dislike or suspicion of episcopacy fear that the Church 
when it has become entirely episcopal will also profess all 
the doctrines which they disapprove and believe to be 
connected with episcopacy. 

There is another outstanding feature of the scheme 
which can be stated in general terms and may be of general 
interest. The agreements on doctrine and practice are, it 
is believed, sufficient to justify the union, but they are not 
nearly so complete as most people have supposed would be 
required in any scheme of union. There are many things 
on which it will be permissible to teach differently within 
the Church. It is natural to compare this with the famous 
comprehensiveness of the Church of England. It has 
some similarity with this, but also an important difference. 
The comprehensiveness of the Church of England is a 
deliberate and defined comprehensiveness, which has its 
most complete and elaborate expression in the XXXIX. 
Articles. The aim of those Articles is to define as in- 
admissible certain teaching on the extremes of either end 
of the series of opinions which were held in the west of 
Europe in the sixteenth century, but to leave as permissible 
a very large central range of opinion. Now this settlement 
was conceived as something in the nature of a compact, 
and also as something which would not admit of alteration 
and would be maintained by the force of the State 
authority. It was a settlement. 

288 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

The opposite is true about the comprehensiveness of the 
proposed united Church of South India. The fact that 
certain very various teachings and practices will be per- 
missible at the time of the union is not intended to convey 
any pledge that they will always be permissible. The 
Church will have to make up its mind from time to time 
whether these varieties of teachings and practices should 
go on, or whether a common mind has been formed which 
ought to be upheld by the Church. This is not merely 
a provision dictated by convenience. There are other 
reasons for it. On the one hand, the thoughtful Indians 
foresee that the Indian development, both of doctrine and 
practice, may well take different lines from those which 
have been followed in the West, and they wish to have the 
opportunity left for this development. On the other hand, 
we Europeans and Americans are conscious that we cannot 
persuade each other after having spent our lives in teaching 
the doctrines of our own denominations, but that there is a 
far better hope that the following generations which will 
have been born in one Church will be able to aorree where 


we are unable. Those who share common life, common 
work, the membership of one institution, with all the 
friendships that it involves, will have more inclination as 
well as more ability to agree. And I must add here that in 
our opinion what they will share is not merely membership 
in an institution, but membership in a body, the Body 
of Christ, which has a divine power of drawing them 

It would not, I would add, be appropriate to judge this 
scheme as you might judge a piece of political statesman- 
ship, or an effort of diplomacy. It is nothing of the sort. 
It would be insane if it were. It can only succeed if there 
is behind it the will of that divine Power which uses us, and 
which, when we lend ourselves to His use, makes us 
capable of things entirely beyond our human power or 
wisdom. I can only indicate that side of the matter. But 
on the human side, if you care for the ending of one more 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 289 

needless alienation in a greatly desired friendship, if you 
care for the development of a beneficent society, if you 
care for the courage which will venture much in a great 
cause, if you care for the first attempt at a reconciliation of 
the most divergent tendencies in Christendom which might 
be the beginning of a new age, I commend to you this 



290 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 


A MEETING of the Association was held at the Caxton Hall, Westminster, 

S. W. I, on Tuesday, February i8, 1930, when a paper was read by the 
Right Rev. Bishop E. J. Palmer, d.d., late Bishop of Bombay, entitled 
“Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India.” The Right 
Hon. Sir Leslie Wilson, G.c.s.i., g.c.i.e., c.m.g., d.s.o., was in the chair, 
and the following ladies and gentlemen, amongst others, were present : 

Sir Louis William Dane, g.c.i.e., k.c.s.i.. General Sir Edmund Barrow, 
G C.B., G.C.S.I., Sir Arthur Hirtzel, k.c.b.. Sir George S. Barnes, k.c.b., 
K.C.S.I., Sir Charles Armstrong, Sir James Walker, k.c i.e., and Lady 
Walker, Sir William Ovens Clark, Lady Bennett, Lady Chatterton, the 
Right Rev. Bishop Eyre Chatterton, Sir Edward Maclagan, k.c.s.i., k.c.i.e., 
Sir Edward Gait, k.c.s.i., c.i.e., Sir John Gumming, k.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir 
James MacKenna, c.i.e.. Lady Miller, the Ven. Walter K. Firrainger, 
Archdeacon W. H. Hodges, Mr. Henry Marsh, c.i.e., Mr. J. A. D. 
McBain, c.i.e., Mr. Vincent J. Esch, c.v.o., Mrs. E. W. Huddleston, 
Rev. Dr. W. Stanton, Major H. Blake Taylor, c.b.e., the Rev. C. S. Carr, 
the Hon. Gertrude Kinnaird, the Rev. William Paton, Mr. F. J. P. Richter, 
Mr. P. K. Dutt, Mrs. Hankin, Mr. G. Scott Bremner, Mrs. Weir, Mrs. 
H. B. Edwards, Mr. J. W. Lewis, the Misses Wills, Miss Margaret Brown, 
Mrs. Nolan, Mr. H. B. Edwards, Miss Mee, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Willmott, 
Mr. J. Sladen, Mr. B. W. Perkins, Miss Blackett, Professor G. C. Bhate, 
Mr. A. C. Brown, Mr. J. W Griffiths, Mr. S. D. Pears, Mr. P. R. Wilson, 
Mr. Abdul Qadir Khan, Mr. George Pilcher, Mrs. A. D. Bonarjee, Mr. 

T. A. H. Way, Lieut.-Colonel A. S. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Holme, 
Miss Speechley, Miss Tyrrwhitt-Drake. Rev. T. Menzies, Mr. Frederick 
Grubb, Mrs. Martley, Miss Curteis, Mr. W. E. De Monte, Mr. Henry 
Rudd, Mrs. Latifi, Miss I. Colhoun, Mr. T. Stephens, and Mr. F. H. 
Brown, c.i.e., Hon. Secretary. 

The Ch.'MRMan : Ladies and Gentlemen, — In the first place I have to 
announce with very great regret, which I know will be shared by you all, 
that Lord Chelmsford is unfortunately unwell and is therefore unable to 
be here this afternoon, and I have been asked to take the chair in his 
place. I will read a letter I have received from him this afternoon : 

“ Dear Sir Leslie, 

“ Let me thank you in the first place for having so kindly stepped 
into the breach and taken my place as Chairman. Unfortunately I am 
suffering from a bronchial attack, of no great consequence, but sufficient 
to keep me in bed. 

“ I particularly regret being unable to preside today, as I was looking 
forward to the discussion on the paper to be read by Bishop Palmer. I 
imagine there are many who are not very conversant with what has been 
taking place in the sphere of the Church in India. No one is better 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 291 

qualified than the Bishop both to inform them and, if necessary, to re- 
assure them. He has taken a leading part in the recent developments, 
and the fact that he, with his family tradition of churchmanship, has felt 
himself able to advocate a certain line of action — I refer to the union of 
Churches — has largely influenced me to give him my support. It is a 
happy coincidence that The Times has today published its Indian Supple- 
ment. Bishop Palmer has written in it an article on Church matters, so 
no one present at the meeting can legitimately plead complete ignorance 
of the matter in hand. 

Sincerely yours, 


There is a letter from Lord Winterton, who writes to Mr. Brown ; 

“With further reference to my letter of the 12th, I now find definitely 
that I am unable to attend the lecture next Tuesday. I am so sorry, and 
it would have given me much pleasure to be there. 

“ I should be grateful if you would kindly make a point of explaining to 
Bishop Palmer how sorry I am that I am unable to be present owing to 
the fact that I have to be in the House of Commons on the day in question, 
as there is going to be a debate on the Motor Vehicles Bill in which I am 
interested, and on which I am going to speak.” 

May I say that I am delighted to have the opportunity of taking the 
chair on this occasion, because it was during my five years in Bombay our 
lecturer was the Bishop of Bombay, and I am therefore able to speak with 
some personal knowledge of his entire devotion to the welfare of the 
Church and Christianity in the Presidency and in India generally. Per- 
haps I may be allowed in this connection to say one word with regard to 
the very valuable work which was done by Mrs. Palmer during the whole 
time that she was with the Bishop in India, particularly in connection 
with the women of all classes, creeds, and communities in the Presidency. 
As Lord Chelmsford has said in his letter, there is probably or certainly 
no one more competent to speak on the question on which Bishop Palmer 
is going to speak this afternoon than the Bishop himself. Lord Chelms- 
ford alludes to the special supplement of The Times of this morning, 
which no doubt many of you have read. I may say if you have not read 
it I strongly advise you to do so, because it is one of the most excellent 
productions about India that I have ever seen ; and when India is so much 
in the foreground as it is at present I think everybody who takes any 
interest in that great country ought to read every page of that excellent 
supplement. In that supplement I would strongly commend to you the 
article which has been written by Bishop Palmer, in which he deals with 
matters aS'ecting the Christian Church in India, and more particularly 
what struck me was that he pointed out that, while the British Government 
has been, and very rightly so, meticulously neutral as between religions, it 
has introduced ideals which have been derived from its Christian tradi- 
tions. The facts which prove that are too numerous for me to mention. 
I might refer to the great efforts which have been made to deal with 

292 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

famine, but what I particularly refer to is the institution of so many 
societies which have been working for Christian principles, although those 
societies have been controlled by other religions. There are many which 
come to my mind. Perhaps I might mention one which Bishop Palmer 
knows himself very well indeed and which I think he mentioned — that is, 
the Servants of India Society, whose headquarters are at Poona. That 
society, which I may perhaps call a Hindu mission, is served by men and 
women who take nothing more than will barely keep them alive and who 
devote the whole of their time to helping those who are little able to help 
themselves, and they do an immense amount of work as regards nursing 
and education. That society, like several others, founded as it is on 
Christian principles, exemplifies to the very best the principles of under- 
standing, self-sacrifice, and charity, and of giving the best practical assist- 
ance they can to those who are not able to help themselves. I am sure we 
are all looking forward very much to Bishop Palmer’s paper, which I will 
now ask him to read. 

The paper was then read. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Chatterton said he wished to say a few words 
with regard to the severance of the relationship between the Church in 
India and the State and Church in England. His mind went back to the 
time of the great Bishop Lefroy. He remembered when Bishop Palmer 
arrived in India as quite a young man and the great hopes that were 
placed in him by the late Bishop Coplestone and others, which hopes 
Bishop Palmer had certainly fulfilled. (Hear, hear.) In considering the 
question of the Christian Church breaking the old legal connection and 
starting anew, it was most important that the Church which was starting a 
new life should have made up its mind as to its constitution. The making 
of a constitution was not an easy matter ; it took many years. He remem- 
bered that, when presiding at the Synod in Calcutta, half an hour had 
been occupied sometimes in discussing one word, and he was sure that the 
drawing up of the constitution of the Church in India must have occupied 
years of the life of Bishop Palmer, who was the main composer of it. He 
thought that our gift of an autonomous Church to India had been the 
greatest of many good gifts we had given that country. The supplement 
of The Times, to which the Chairman had referred, showed that the 
future in India was full of promise, and it showed what he wished every- 
body in England had understood before, that the British had conferred on 
India by their connection with it innumerable and inestimable benefits. 
He might say that a very distinguished Indian, the late Partab Chunder 
Mozoomdar, the head of one of the reformed sects of Hinduism, with whom 
he was acquainted when in India, had said when addressing a meeting that 
“ the best day that ever dawned for India was when the English came to 
it. Among the many great benefits which we had given to India was the 
Christian Church ; and he thought and hoped that the movement for 
reunion of Christians which was going on in India at the present time, in 
which Bishop Palmer had taken such an active part, was going to bring 
home to India still more the benefits which we had been permitted by 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 293 

the providence of God to give it. We had started the infant Church in 
India, and he begged them all to take a great interest in it in the future. 
It was a very live Church, as was brought home by the fact that it was 
going to occupy the minds of all the bishops of the Anglican Communion 
assembled at the Lambeth Conference this summer. 

He would say in conclusion that the members of the Indian Church Aid 
Association, of which he was president, were constantly thinking of the 
needs of the Church in India, especially those of our own poor people of 
the domiciled community, and he appealed to all present to take an 
interest in that association also. 

The Rev. VV. Paton thought that one of the most admirable points 
made by Bishop Palmer was that the Church in India, both in its present 
divided condition and in the future, should be expected to be patriotic. 
In speaking of the Church he referred to the Churches of all denominations. 
He had once asked an Indian what Church he belonged to, and he replied 
that he was a Canadian Baptist. It must be obvious to all of them that, 
while they admired the loyalty of a man to the people to whom he owed 
his religion, there was little room for the Christian Church in India unless 
it appeared to the minds of Indians to be truly Indian. The most foreign 
things with regard to it at present were the labels which the people from 
Britain, from America, from Australasia, and from various parts of the 
Continent had put upon it. The only argument — leaving theological 
issues aside — he had ever heard urged against the Union scheme by 
people who believed in unity was the suggestion that the Churches could 
act together as separated bodies and endeavour by a variety of methods to 
achieve a real union in practice. In that connection they had to consider 
what could and what could not be done. In India there was a body 
called the National Christian Council, which represented all the non- 
Roman Churches and missions in India. Probably more than in any 
other country in the East there had been set up through the missions and 
the Churches which they had founded a machinery for co-operation. They 
must by some means avoid the evils which were inseparable from division, 
and, in order to get rid of those evils, they had invented an elaborate form 
of co-operation. But there was a great difference between sitting in a 
Council, as he had often done, of perhaps thirty different bodies, consider- 
ing how they could best tackle, for instance, the subject of primary educa- 
tion among the different missions of the Madras Presidency, or co-operation 
in theological teaching in the Churches of North India, and a united 
Church of Christ devising its own policy as a single united body. He 
had no doubt there would be an enormous liberation of power through 
any such scheme of union. He was strongly in favour of promoting the 
co-operation of the separated bodies, but he was most enthusiastically 
in favour of the principle of organic union. He believed the present 
scheme should be supported cordially by all those who desired to see 
effective Church unity in India. (Applause.) 

The Rev. Dr. Firminger said they had listened to a very lucid and 
interesting paper. It was impossible for an association such as the East 

294 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

India Association to discuss the essential difficulties connected with a 
matter which was of an ecclesiastical if not of a theological nature. He 
fearlessly said that he was a pronounced Anglo-Catholic. A representative 
committee of Anglo-Catholics, many of them persons who held great posi- 
tions in the Church or in the Universities in England, had considered the 
matter, and the difficulties in connection with the proposed union seemed 
to them to be insuperable. British people who went to India were not 
colonists ; they most of them passed through India as pilgrims. If he 
had a daughter going to India who had been brought up in his own 
Anglo-Catholic persuasion, and the proposal for union had been adopted, 
he really did not know what he would advise her to do. It was a very 
perplexing matter indeed. He had taken some part in the construction of 
the present constitution of the Church in India, as chairman of the com- 
mittee that drafted the constitution of the Calcutta Synod. At the incep- 
tion of the Synodical movement the Indian chaplains were never consulted 
as to whether they and their congregations should be included in the 
Indian Church, and he believed that many of the laity in India still 
remained very apprehensive with regard to what might happen when the 
Church in India had autonomy, and he thought that Bishop Palmer’s 
paper would increase their apprehensions. English people were averse 
from having their religion Indianized, although they desired reasonable 
freedom for self-expression for the Indian Church. The scheme in his 
opinion stereotyped Anglicanism in some respects, but in some vital 
respects it left the Indian church-folk in India unprotected. 

The Rev. Dr. Weitbrecht Stanton said that, having followed the ques- 
tion in India for more than fifty years, he desired to add his humble tribute 
to what had been said by other speakers with regard to Bishop Palmer’s 
presentation of the case and the work which he had done. With regard 
to the need for reorganization of the Church in India, fifty-three years ago 
the Diocese of Lahore was founded, and an eminent missionary, Dr. 
French, was appointed bishop. There was another eminent clergyman 
who had been the founder of missionary work in the province, and whom 
Dr. French wished to be appointed as his archdeacon, but the Secretary 
of State informed him that he could not have a non-Government clergy- 
man as archdeacon. At a later date Bishop Lefroy elaborated a scheme 
for the self-government of the Church in India. He consulted the legal 
member of the Council, who said they could not have such an organization 
apart from the Government. Hence the scheme for an independent con- 
stitution of the Church in India, which was to take effect from March i. 
This was intimately connected with the forces working towards a wider 
union, of which Dr. Paton had spoken. One of these was the work of the 
Bible Society, which belonged to all Christian people in India. In this 
men of various Churches had found they could work together in harmony 
and much to the benefit of the whole. This was illustrated in the 
revision of the Urdu New Testament. The Baptists justified their exist- 
ence as a separate denomination by the doctrine that baptism must be 
performed by immersion. They held that the Greek term should be 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 295 

translated into a vernacular word meaning “ dipping,” and for that reason 
they had their own separate New Testament; but, finally, they agreed to 
put the word “ dipping ” in the margin of the New Testament, leaving 
“ baptism ” in the text, and now there was only one version of the book 
for all Urdu readers. Again, in presenting the gospel to Muhammadans 
in India, missionaries felt their work had suffered from insufficient ac- 
quaintance with the sacred language and theology of Islam. To help 
them in this study a school had been established at Lahore, which had 
been given the name of the famous missionary scholar Henry Martyn, 
and in it men of several denominations were teaching and learning with 
one object before them. Again, there was the work of training Indian 
ministers and clergy. In this, too, united work was growing. At 
Saharanpur a theological college was now established, in which several 
different denominations took part, each having provision made for the 
needs of its own particular Church. They had to choose between pro- 
gressing towards unity or remaining behind as back numbers. They 
wanted to live the life of their Founder and to make Him known in the 
world, which they could not do without the union for which He Himself 
prayed, and it was for that reason that he was hoping and praying that 
the scheme advocated by Bishop Palmer would be carried through. 

The Rev. E. S. Carr said that the extent to which the proposed union 
had progressed was amazing. He had been in South India for many years 
and had been in touch with the formation of the South Indian United 
Church from its beginning, having been a delegate to the annual meeting 
of the South Indian United Church in Travancore, and he had seen the 
Moderator’s chair occupied by an Indian Christian. In the past he had 
felt it was impossible that the Church of England could join in such a 
union. The present position showed the determination and ability with 
which the bishops in India, and especially the Bishop of Bombay, had 
worked until the present position had been attained. In the past it had 
seemed to him that it would be impossible without some strong action, 
such as an Act of Parliament, for the Church of England to join, but now 
they had accomplished the impossible : the Act of Parliament had been 
passed and the union was within measurable distance of coming into 
existence, which reflected great credit on those who had put the matter 
forward. In the past they had foisted upon the people of India divisions 
which were absolutely unknown to them, and that state of affairs ought to 
be remedied as soon as possible. Every effort should be made by members 
of the Church of England and members of other Churches to promote 
unity. He criticized the name given to the new Church — namely, the 
Church of India, Burma and Ceylon. One of the reasons for carrying 
through the Act of Parliament had been to unite the other Churches, 
which in itself showed that it was not the Church of India, Burma and 
Ceylon ; it was a branch of the Church. If some alteration could be made 
in the name to show that that was the position, he thought it would be of 
advantage. Another point was that the union had come from the foreign 

296 Some Recent Developments tn the Churches in India 

element in India and not from India itself. He thought such a movement 
should come from the people of India. He was struck by the fact that in 
the proposed constitution very wide latitude was given with regard to the 
various forms and ceremonies, and he thought it would be more likely to 
be a Church which the Indians would accept if they had the opportunity 
of themselves expressing more fully their desires as to the form that those 
ceremonies should take. 

Sir Louis Dane said he wished to make a few remarks from a purely 
administrative point of view. A great many of them who had served in 
India must have sympathized very much with the view urged by the Rev. 
Dr. Firminger. A good many of them may have wondered what sort of 
services they might in the future be called upon to attend in the 
churches in India, but Bishop Palmer had pointed out that the position of 
the chaplains in India had been preserved. This should reassure all going 
to India from this country and should set a good standard. He personally 
had had experience of Christian gentlemen in India of various denomina- 
tions, and he had always found that the divisions and hair-splitting 
differences which existed between the Churches in England were not so 
strongly marked in India. He had, for instance, known a Catholic priest 
who, in the stress of a great epidemic, buried soldiers not of his own 
denomination according to the Church of England service. There was 
also a Presbyterian minister who held a service in accordance with the 
Prayer Book of the Church of England, because all the people at the station 
in question happened to belong to that denomination. As long as a feel- 
ing of that character existed he thought they could make their minds easy 
that they would not be subjected to some form of liturgy which would be 
worse even than the so-called corybantic Christianity of the Salvation 
Army when it first started. It was a significant fact that most of the 
various Protestant denominations, aggregating about seventy, were trying 
to sink their differences and to combine. This was most satisfactory and 
should greatly help Christianity in India. Educated Hindus and 
Muhammadans had said to him : “ You talk of Christians, but what sort 
of Christians do you mean ? You will not even go to each other’s churches 
or to a joint church.” That, of course, was ridiculous, because there were 
much greater differences between Muhammadans and Hindu sects, but it 
was in some measure a stumbling-block. At the same time the proposed 
union might give rise to considerable difficulties which would only be met 
if the new Indian Church was deofficialized as much as possible, as it 
would, of course, be of the most active missionary type, and no one could 
predict what developments might occur in the course of years in a Church 
dominated entirely by ideas held by Indians, and Indians often belonging 
to the poorly educated classes. Persons connected with the Indian 
Church must not be put forward at official functions as representing the 
religion of the Government. 

Mr. H. Harcourt said he was astonished to hear Sir Louis Dane refer 
to the religious views of the Government of India. He had served in 
India for twenty-five years, and he always understood that the Government 

Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 297 

of India as such, consisting as it did of a composite body of Hindus, 
Muhammadans, and others, had no distinctive religious views. There 
were, of course, difliculties which stood in the way of the project outlined 
by Bishop Palmer. Those difficulties must be and would be solved if we 
believed in divine power. In his opinion, either Christianity in India 
outside the Roman obedience would perish, or they must proceed on 
something like the lines proposed. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Palmer, in reply, said that Sir Louis Dane was 
a little more sanguine than he was in saying that all the denominations 
were trying to sink their differences. At present the scheme only 
comprised three sorts of Christians, if he might use that expression, 
whereas the Roman Catholics, the Syrians, the Baptists, and the Lutherans 
were outside it. The most important point regarding this scheme of union 
was that it was the first attempt to bridge the gulf between bodies holding 
the Catholic tradition and bodies holding the tradition of the Reformation. 
Mr. Carr had said that the attempts at union had been derived from 
Englishmen or Americans. It was true that the first part of his paper 
dealt with the liberation of the Church in India from its connection with 
the State and the Church of England, which no doubt had been thought 
of and carried through very largely by English people, but the scheme of 
union was of Indian origin. It was conceived at a meeting of thirty-one 
Indian ministers of different denominations in 1919, who had taken part 
in a joint evangelistic campaign and who had been so greatly encouraged 
by their joint action that they decided to have a meeting to discuss the 
question as to whether they could have one Church. Those men had 
drawn up the first outline which was the origin of the whole scheme. It 
was, therefore, not correct to say that the scheme was born in English 
minds. It was true that the organization of the Christian Churches in India 
was very largely Western, for the reason that when a person was learning he 
took what his teacher told him, and it was only when he became expert that 
he struck out on lines of his own. The Indian Christians had not come 
to the stage at which they could invent much for themselves. It was, 
however, important to remember that, when the matter was being discussed, 
there had always been more Indians than English or Americans present, 
and they had certainly been most desirous that an agreement should be 
arrived at, and the scheme, though in many respects Western in appearance, 
had been checked from point to point by Indians, which was as much as 
they could expect at the present stage. A question had been raised with 
regard to the name of the proposed Church. The reason why the Church 
had been called the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon was that it aimed 
at being a Church which should, on the one hand, represent the whole 
Catholic tradition of Christianity and, on the other hand, be adapted to the 
country of India, in the same way that the Church of England was the 
Catholic Church adapted to the needs of England. The justification for 
the name was that they were the only Christians in India who had the 
deliberate intention of founding such a Church. With regard to the 
remarks of Mr. Carr as to the union being accomplished, there were very 

298 Some Recent Developments in the Churches in India 

serious objections still to be faced not only from Bishop Gore but also 
from Dr. Jones, the Congregationalist minister, and other persons in 
England. He therefore deprecated the expression that the union had been 
accomplished. With regard to Dr. Firminger’s suggestion as to what 
would happen if his daughter went to India after the scheme had been 
carried, he would point out that if she wanted to attend English services 
she would find a clergyman with the same orders as Dr. Firminger 
ministering there, for the reason that the United Church in South India 
would be the successor of the Church of England in South India, and 
would take over all its obligations under the Indian Church Act, so that 
no member of the Church of England who was going to India need be in 
any way disturbed by the scheme. The only difference would be that the 
bishop of some diocese might be an American or an Indian. 

Sir Arthur Hirtzel, in proposing a hearty vote of thanks to the 
Chairman and the Lecturer, said he was sure they were all very grateful to 
Sir Leslie Wilson for taking the chair and to Bishop Palmer for his 
admirable paper and also his subsequent contribution to the discussion, in 
both of which he had displayed that great grasp of the principles and 
details which had made him so powerful a leader and so formidable a 
controversialist. He thought some such scheme as that which had been 
proposed was the only hope for the eventual triumph of Christianity in India. 

The Chairman having thanked the meeting on behalf of Bishop Palmer 
and himself, the proceedings closed. 



By C. F. Strickland, i.c.s. (retd.) 

The preference of educated persons in India for an urban 
life, and the growing demand for more rapid industrial 
development, tend to draw the attention of distant observers 
away from the rural areas and create a danger that the 
interests of nine-tenths of the population, who live in 
villages, and the 73 per cent, who are directly supported by 
agriculture, may be seriously overlooked. In speaking, 
therefore, almost entirely of rural India I do not intend to 
imply that the towns are not highly important, but wish to 
confine myself to the subject of the overwhelmingly great 
rural majority. 

It is not necessary to dwell at length on the defects of 
the rural situation, which are now generally known, and 
(except in moments of hot argument) generally admitted. 
Rural evils are found in England as well as in India, and 
those who hope by united effort to cure them will be wise 
frankly to admit their existence and their gravity. The 
Indian villagers, men, w’omen, and children, are for the 
most part limited in their outlook and unprogressive, 
burdened by debt and without a real aspiration to shake it 
off, and hampered throughout their lives by both an 
inherited and an acquired weakness of health. More than 
90 per cent, are illiterate, the average outturn of wheat per 
acre is one-third of that of Great Britain and Denmark, 
and while the rural death-rate (25 per 1,000) is double that 
of England, the infant mortality (175 per 1,000) is 2J times 
as great. The three needs of the villager are (i) a higher 
standard of living, in respect of both physical and social 
requirements, which will urge him to increase his income 
and his moral demands on life, (2) a longer economic view, 


What India Really Needs 

showing him that real improvement (better crops, better 
cattle, and freedom from debt) are possible if he will make 
an effort, and (3) a truer balance of character, proceeding 
from a wider education and knowledge, which will render 
him a better and more intelligent citizen of his country. 

The Unorganized Village 

Several departments of Government are doing their best 
to help the villager forward and upward, and in recent 
years unofficial bodies have taken a more prominent part in 
the work. But since the old village organization is no 
longer strong enough to impose its will on backward or re- 
calcitrant individuals, and each man is, in matters not 
concerning his caste or his religion, a law unto himself, it 
is difficult for either Government or private reformers to 
make an impression on the vast number of small men who 
are unaccustomed to discuss and act on a common idea. 
The village is unorganized, and the villager, despite his 
industry and other virtues, remains an uninspired in- 
dividualist. What is needed is a new organization of the 
village, a bond which the people will recognize as uniting 
them for common action, not compulsorily as by law but 
voluntarily because they recognize its value. Without it 
the progress of rural India will continue to be slow, and 
many things will never be done because it will be too late, 
but in face of the swift changes which have swept over the 
country and are yet to come, I believe that the village 
community can be drawn together for its own good and for 
the advantage of all India, if Co-operation becomes the 
frame in which the professional and domestic life of the 
peasant are set. 

Twenty-five years of experience have proved that the 
principles of rural Co-operation, as first worked out eighty 
years ago by Germans on the Rhine, hold good and can be 
applied in India, no less than in Java and Japan. The 
Co-operative Credit Societies Act of 1904 provided only 
for societies of the credit type, but the Act of 1912, omitting 

What India Really Needs 


the word “credit” from its title, extended legal sanction to 
every kind of society based on co-operative principles. I 
shall refer later to several of the novel forms in which the 
co-operative idea has been expressed in India, and which 
serve to repair the disorganization and disintegration of the 
village community. In the first place, however, I must 
deal with credit. 

Rural Credit 

Critics are struck, and sometimes unfavourably, by the 
fact that 90 per cent, of the Indian societies have credit as 
their sole or primary object. In Europe and America 
other branches of the movement are equally advanced ; and 
though credit societies continue to hold a large place, some 
of the bigger farmers and peasants may pass beyond their 
sphere, and become sufficiently prosperous to deal with 
a joint stock bank and sufficiently secretive to prefer to do 
so. If they discard the credit society too early, as seems 
to have happened in some parts of Ireland, they are 
starved of resources, and are forced to make a creamery 
or other agricultural society their banker, using it for a 
purpose for which it was not intended and embarrassing its 

In India few villages are ready to dispense with credit. 
The ordinary cultivator, whether owner or tenant, is 
already indebted to money-lenders, or is driven to them 
from time to time by crop failures and urgent ceremonial 
expenditure, and may suffer severely before he succeeds, 
if ever, in repaying what he has borrowed. I consider 
that in normal circumstances the peasant who becomes 
indebted to a money-lender for a sum equal to half a year’s 
crop cannot hope to clear himself without sale of his land 
or without extraneous income from a son in service. He 
is a permanent debtor. Various estimates of the amount 
of India’s rural debt have been made, and a figure round 
;^5oo,ooo,ooo has been mentioned in several books ; it is, of 
course, only an estimate, but even a much larger sum might 


What India Really Needs 

be harmless in a land which has more than 300,000,000 
acres annually under crops, in addition to income from 
forest and other sources. 

This would be a light and harmless debt if it were 
productive ; but the chief evil in money-lender’s credit — 
indispensable though the money-lender is, until a co- 
operative society is established to replace him — is not his 
high rate of interest, or the falsification of books which is 
practised by a minority of the class, but the fact that he 
grants loans for unprofitable as well as profitable objects 
and in amounts in excess of the borrower’s means, and does 
not insist on prompt repayment on a good harvest. His 
ambition naturally is to see his money well invested and to 
live on the interest. The character of the peasant is not 
such as to use these facilities prudently. Ready lending is 
a new practice, which has grown up since under British 
rule a lasting peace was established, the peasant’s tenure 
of his land became secure, and the recovery of debts 
through the civil courts was regularized. 

By negligence or intention, through necessity or extrava- 
gance, the small landowner has entangled himself to such 
a degree with his creditors that he cannot escape by his 
own endeavours ; and the essential point to note is that, so 
long as he remains thus afflicted, he will make little effort 
to improve his agriculture, will see no advantage in educa- 
tion for his sons unless to make them clerks in an office 
(and no advantage at all in education for his daughters), 
and will lack the spirit to keep those personal and domestic 
rules which, simple as they are, would make an enormous 
difference to his health. He does not care ; why should 
he ? He is in debt as his father was and as his son will be ; 
no increase in the produce of his six acres can clear off the 
mass of principal and accumulated interest, so any extra 
income from extra labour or intelligence will only pass into 
his creditor s lands and will mean nothing to himself. Why 
then worry ? Let the agricultural, educational, and health 
officers talk to the rich men who stand to gain, or to the 

What India Really Needs 303 

headman, who must at least pretend to take them seriously. 
These things are not for him. 

The Changed Point of View 

Perhaps the greatest service which the co-operative 
credit societies, where they have functioned efficiently, 
have done to India is to alter this point of view. For 
some years the poorer peasants were incredulous and sus- 
picious ; but when Narayan in the next village is able to 
tell them that through an uncomfortable discipline of pub- 
licity at the time of borrowing and an inconvenient regu- 
larity in repaying he has really released his fields from 
mortgage and reduced his open debt to a few rupees in 
shop account, then Bishn Singh and Rahim Khan grasp 
that this is something new, and that conceivably a brighter 
day may dawn also for them. The result is not only that 
they proceed to found a society in their own village, but 
that they attend more closely to the expert who talks of 
better seed or cattle ; to the schoolmaster, who points out 
that it would be helpful if a son could read the agricultural 
leaflets ; and to the doctor, who explains that if a man’s 
wife, being ill with malaria, cooks indigestible chupattis, 
he will handle his plough more clumsily, and she will be 
rougher in milking his cows. His entire outlook is altered 
and he becomes approachable and open-minded. 

A few figures will be in place before I return to the 
moral and social aspects of Co-operation, which concern me 
most. A fair estimate for the present moment will be 
1 10,000 co-operative societies of all kinds in British India 
and in the nine States which submit returns for inclusion 
in the Government of India’s report. Perhaps 100,000 
will be credit societies, and 700 of these may be central 
banks, financing the local and primary institutions. A 
membership of 45 millions and a working capital of about 
;^75,ooo,ooo are only the first-fruits of a harvest which will 
cover the land ; but the latter figure is particularly satis- 
factory, because no more than 2 per cent, of this consider- 


What India Really Needs 

able sum is derived from Government. One-third of the 
whole amount consists of members’ savings in the shape of 
shares and deposits, one-third of deposits from the public, 
and the remainder is money lent by central banks to their 
societies, and drawn for the most part from these deposits 
of non-members. The edifice has therefore been built up 
by the thrift and by the good reputation of the members 
themselves, with the careful guidance and favour of Govern- 
ment. State money is, however, as I have indicated, a 
small percentage of that total, and is granted (in British 
India at least) only for peculiar classes of society, such as 
those' for housing or for mortgage business, which cannot 
safely operate on a basis of short-term deposits. 

A School of Citizenship 

It is clear, therefore, that the cultivator and the urban 
middle classes believe the movement to be beneficial and 
safe, and except where mistaken policy has temporarily 
shaken this belief, the present demand for the opening of 
new credit societies would exceed, if permitted, the capacity 
of the organizers to give thorough instruction to the would- 
be members. Hasty registration, before the uneducated 
have absorbed the real meaning and strictness of the rules 
which they are to observe, always leads to repentance. A 
society will only flourish if its members know one another 
and can trust one another. The liability is unlimited, and 
herein lies a valuable safeguard ; thoughtful men will not 
pledge their little all on behalf of a dishonest neighbour, and 
he is excluded by their vote until he reforms. The criterion 
of admission is often homely and singular ; an applicant 
may be rejected by the general meeting not merely because 
he is a drunkard, a gambler, or a thief, but because he 
spends too much of the day in prayer, or has married more 
wives than his land and earnings can maintain. The 
neighbours know who pays his way and who does not. The 
members of a society thus learn, in the course of its proceed- 
ings, to examine a proposal from all sides and to discern 

What India Really Needs 


differences of character; to weigh the necessity of their own 
expenditure and to measure a man’s ability to repay what he 
is borrowing; to elect a committee and (still harder) to 
control and to depose it ; and finally to work cordially with 
men of other castes and religions for a common end. Can 
there be a finer school of citizenship, or one through which 
a newly-fledged electorate can with more benefit be passed ? 

Grading the Societies 

It is impossible to pronounce an exact judgment as to the 
extent to which the credit societies of India are achieving 
their purpose. In several provinces they are now annually 
classified by the inspecting staff in four grades of merit, and 
my own feeling is that societies marked as A and B, say 
one-third of the whole, are definitely liberating their 
members from debt, and training them in thrift, judgment, 
and tolerance of an opponent’s opinion. Many are weak, 
with members disloyal and unpunctual, some are bad and 
ripe for liquidation. When a society has been ten years on 
the register, the outside indebtedness of the members has 
sometimes been reviewed, and 25 to 75 per cent, have been 
found to owe only to their society. If repayments are 
punctual and faction is quiescent, it may ordinarily be 
assumed that good and thrifty work is being done. Many 
societies which are placed in the third grade as C, solely on 
the ground that having no literate member they cannot keep 
their own accounts, may dispense their little funds wisely 
when the itinerating secretary arrives to help them, and 
make their own collections before his arrival. Illiterate 
villages are very numerous ; perhaps 20,000 societies in 
India are in this plight. 

Naturally the money-lender is in a superior position in 
such cases, being able to finance a borrower at all times, and 
an illiterate borrower is seldom able to calculate the cost to 
himself of such dealings. It is for this reason that the 
contentious plan for a statutory regulation of accounts has 
been brought forward, and one province has passed an Act 

VOL. xxvi. 



What India Really Needs 

requiring a money-lender to keep books in an approved 
form and script, and to send periodical copies of his account 
to each borrower. The latter can then at leisure consult a 
competent adviser with regard to it. Such an Act will, 
however, only be effective if the penalty for failure to keep 
the books and send the copies is sufficient to constrain the 
moneylender to comply. 

Before leaving the subject of credit, let me suggest briefly 
two considerations. In the first place, co-operative credit 
is not merely cheap money. The essence of the system is 
the control of the group over the borrowings and the repay- 
ments of each member — i.e., it is controlled credit. It 
appears to me dangerous to press for more and more funds, 
as many leaders of public opinion and even some prominent 
co-operators are wont to do, and I am apprehensive of a 
new fountain of money being opened in consequence of the 
present inquiry into banking in India. There is no short- 
age whatever of money. A healthy co-operative bank and 
a sound society can already obtain all the funds they can 
safely utilize, and there has frequently been a surplus 
which tempts to unwise advances. Secondly, the basis of 
co-operative credit is character — not wealth ; and mortgage 
credit is therefore exceptionally difficult for co-operators, 
since the large sums concerned draw their minds away from 
character and towards material standards of assessment. 
Co-operative mortgage banks are on trial in Madras, the 
Punjab, and elsewhere, and are not yet proved. India is 
shouting for them, and if created without cautious experi- 
ment and the strictest administration they may cause the 
undoing of the land-owner and all who depend on him. 

Agricultural Betterment 

From credit, the road leads forward to co-operation in 
agriculture. It is in my opinion a mistake, in an unorgan- 
ized community of simple men, to undertake the business 
of agricultural production, purchase or sale on co-operative 
lines before the character of the members has been strength- 
ened, and the habit of team-loyalty has been developed in 


What India Really Needs 

the field of credit. Unless the economic gain is immediate 
and considerable and continuing, a group of peasants will, 
in the great majority of cases, become either careless or 
disloyal. This has, I think, been the lesson of many Indian 
experiments. After training in credit, on the other hand, 
the peasant is, for reasons which I have explained above, 
more anxious to improve his position and much more ready 
to believe that improvement is practicable ; various types of 
agricultural society have then found their place. Purchase 
of agricultural requirements is not so important as in Europe, 
since in most parts of the country an economic use of 
artificial fertilizers has not yet been devised by the experts. 
Some purchase of artificial manures is done in southern 
India, but the great waste of natural manure by the con- 
sumption of dung-cakes as fuel can only be avoided by the 
communal planting of trees or the supply of cheap oil or 

What is really needed, more than organization for joint 
purchase, is a changed attitude of the cultivator towards his 
agricultural adviser, and an arrangement which will facilitate 
consultation between the two. This may be secured by 
means of Better Farming Societies, registered under the 
co-operative law, in which the peasants pledge themselves 
to adopt any improved seed, implement, or method of 
cultivation on which their general meeting may resolve, and 
the committee impose a fine on a member who fails to carry 
out the resolution. Frequent guidance by experts is indis- 
pensable, and the experts will find before them a group of 
men who have already learned in their credit society to 
work together and are now bound by a promise to listen to 

The selected seed of the agricultural farms has hitherto 
passed into the hands of the richer rather than the poorer 
farmers, and the bigger men have bought new ploughs and 
harrows because they can afford to take risks. The small 
peasant will not travel ten miles to the approved seed-agent 
to obtain one bushel of special seed for his two acres of 
cotton or wheat, nor will he risk twenty rupees on an imple- 


What India Really Needs 

ment which he may fail rightly to adjust. The expert on 
his side cannot spare time to instruct separately each lord 
of five acres, and it is only by grouping fifty such persons 
and pledging them to listen, that a reasonable contact can 
be arranged. 

The old theory that knowledge will filter down has been 
found by experience to be untrue. The small man does not 
learn from the big, or imitate him, because he does not 
believe the conditions of a big and a small holding to be 
comparable, and there is much to be said for his view. 
Yet without converting the small man, Indian agriculture 
will never be revolutionized, as it must be if the potentially 
fertile soil is to support the growing population. The group 
method will achieve the conversion, though slowly, and the 
co-operative machinery, by enabling the majority to keep a 
sluggish minority up to their promises, makes the grouping 
many times more effective. 

Cattle Rearing 

The same co-operative organization is necessary for the 
improvement of live stock. The cattle of India include 
many oxen which are weak under the yoke, bulls which are 
unfit for breeding, and cows which give little or no milk. 

I cannot omit all reference to the difficulty of raising the 
standard, while forbidden by the religious feelings of the 
Hindu to eliminate those animals which are worthless. 
Where the slaughter of unproductive stock sets free the 
pasture or other fodder for maintenance of the best beasts, 
selection is easier ; but everywhere an advance is still 
possible if a group of cultivators, who have learned to act 
in common, will bind themselves by co-operative bylaws, 
with a penalty to be imposed by their own committee in 
case of default, to use a pure-bred bull for their best cows, 
and to keep other bulls away, by castration and segregation, 
from this herd. The same method can be employed for 
creating fodder reserves and for the selection of cows by 

In theory any and all of these practices, whether relating 

What India Really Needs 


to crop or to cattle, can be followed by «ach peasant indi- 
vidually or by a group without the co-operative machinery ; 
but it is open to everyone to see that the single peasant 
does not actually do so, and that the propaganda in India 
on behalf of non-co-operative seed unions or agricultural 
associations sets up bodies which pass excellent resolutions 
and seldom give them lasting effect. A keen local officer 
may stimulate them for a time, but they fall back when he 
leaves the district ; moreover, their membership is drawn 
largely from the well to do. The small man needs the 
encouragement of his immediate neighbours, and is most 
responsive to a village institution, not that of a taluka or 
district ; his entry to the society must, of course, be volun- 
tary, but so long as he retains his membership his character 
is stiffened by compulsion, and laxity and procrastination 
are punished. 

These are not mere theories. Co-operative societies of 
cattle-breeding, milk-recording, cattle insurance, dairies, 
fodder storage, irrigation, distribution of seed, demonstra- 
tion and sale of better implements, the teaching of new 
rotations and new methods of cultivation are active in 
several Indian provinces; and though their fortunes fluc- 
tuate and their efficiency varies, they bring the agricultural 
and veterinary officer for the first time into real touch with 
the five-acre cultivator, whose education is the centre of the 
Indian problem. 

Importance of Literacy 

There can be no slackening in the struggle to raise the 
level of agriculture by direct attack, but the real crux of 
the question lies in the character of the peasant-cultivator. 
Some progress is being made ; 10,000,000 acres, or 3 per 
cent, of the total sown area, were under improved crops in 
1928 ; but the ground is slowly and painfully gained, nor 
have other forms of improvement kept pace with the work of 
distributing good seed. Literacy and formal school instruc- 
tion do not in themselves make a better farmer, but they give 
the peasant access to the information contained in books 


What India Really Needs 

and pamphlets, and familiarize his mind with the process of 
absorbing new ideas. Whatever faults there may be in 
Indian education as at present planned, few who have 
preached and argued in the villages will deny that the 
literate man is ordinarily more open to persuasion and less 
suspicious of the motives with which a novel course is re- 
commended. He is less submissive, less pliant, but when 
convinced is more constant in acting according to his 

Co-operators have, consequently, always looked on 
literacy and enlightenment as the main desiderata for rural 
betterment, and the educator as their chief ally. In credit 
no less than in agriculture, the peasant who can read and 
write is ordinarily quicker to understand a principle, and 
ordinarily (with distressing exceptions) an influence for 
good in carrying out the practice. His utility as a secretary 
or a member of the committee, on account of his literacy, is 
not to be forgotten, but is beside the present question. 
Though an educated village may at first be more heavily 
indebted than an uneducated, and its members are capable 
of equally bitter faction, the stability of a co-operative 
society among them is appreciably greater, and their efforts 
to shake off their debt and to cultivate with greater profit 
are less dependent on the supervision of experts and 

Co-operators, then, have naturally taken part in the cam- 
paign for adult education and for compulsory juvenile educa- 
tion. Co-operative adult schools are perhaps undesirable 
except as an experiment of pioneers ; education is the duty of 
trained educators. Compulsory education societies, in which 
the parents bind themselves to send their children regularly 
to school for a stated period, and are fined by their committee 
in case of negligence, are an example of that moral Co-opera- 
tion in which I consider that India has taught a lesson to 
the world. These societies will cease to exist when legal 
compulsion is applied in the rural areas, but serve in the 
meantime the purpose of giving heart to the progressive 
villagers and preparing the way for the application of the 

What India Really Needs 3 1 1 

law. Two things would help rural co-operators in the field 
of education : a system of rural broadcasting in the local 
vernacular, with a programme not limited to nonsense and 
jazz ; and a supply of women teachers, primarily for girls’ 
schools and subsequently for the boys. The new Indian 
Broadcasting Board, with State assistance and control, 
offers hope of the first ; the second lies in a more distant 

The societies of compulsory arbitration, created in one 
province only, fall within the widest definition of education, 
and should be mentioned here. Members bind themselves 
to refer to arbitrators every civil dispute on a long list of 
scheduled subjects, and to accept the award of the arbi- 
trators. Their committee is empowered to fine every 
member who either resorts to a court of law in defiance 
of his pledge or enters a legal objection against the enforce- 
ment of an award. Moral Co-operation is here striving 
to correct the tendency to idle litigation, on account both 
of its demoralizing influence on the character and of the 
economic loss involved. Many disputes concerning women, 
land, and debts are satisfactorily settled in this way, and 
money-lenders who join the societies are able to recover 
their dues both cheaply and without ill-feeling. 

Health Work 

The most sublimated spirit of Co-operation is, however, 
found in the sphere of health. A sick cultivator is a bad 
cultivator, a dirty village is a degrading village, and the 
anti-malarial societies of Bengal are close to the heart 
of the rural problem. Whereas credit societies in India 
number 100,000, and agricultural societies 3,000, co-opera- 
tive health societies do not exceed 1,000. In the Punjab 
they are named “ Better Living Societies,” and impose the 
same penalty on a breach of the common promise, to which 
I have referred in other instances. Bengal relies on 
propaganda alone, and this is undoubtedly a greater force 
in the Punjab also than the fear of a fine. Better living 
Societies bind their members to comply with any rule laid 


Wkai India Really Needs 

down by the general meeting in respect of sanitation, thrift, 
or moral and social reform. A standard list of jewellery 
may, for instance, be drawn up, in excess of which no parent 
is to endow a girl on her marriage ; or a maximum cost of 
a wedding may be prescribed for a certain tribe or caste. 
In such matters it is difficult for different tribes and re- 
ligions to join a single society, but where the decision is to 
engage and pay a sweeper or to exclude dancing girls from 
the village, all castes and creeds can unite. 

Anti-malarial societies, which dry up the breeding-places 
of the mosquito, produce stronger men and thereby heavier 
crops ; better living societies aim not only at health, but at 
the restraint of extravagance and the removal of causes of 
quarrel. They thus touch on one side the arbitration 
society, on another the agricultural society, and on a third 
the question of credit and debt. When a practicable 
solution of the dung-cake problem is offered to the peasant, 
and he is able, by burning another fuel, to conserve his 
manure for his fields, these societies will be the ideal channel 
for conveying the new knowledge to him and an excellent 
means of enforcing the policy in accordance with it. 

A specialized form of better living is seen in the thrift 
society, whether the savings be in cash or grain. In the 
villages, however, of which I am for the most part speaking, 
the contribution of share-instalments for ten years to a 
credit society is in itself an act of thrift, and most of the 
existing societies are for urban men or women of regular 
income rather than for cultivators. 

The Co-operation in India which I have described is a 
movement of wider scope, and less immediately economic, 
than Co-operation in Europe and America. It is compelled 
by the emptiness of the field to undertake duties which 
elsewhere are left to other agencies, and while rural India 
remains uneducated and unorganized, I see no alternative 
to extending co-operative activity in this way. When the 
peasantry is literate, when metalled roads bring every 
hamlet in touch with the towns, and when an alteration in 
the minds of the people makes it possible for refined and 

What India Really Needs 


educated women to move and live freely and without 
comment in the villages, we shall see women’s institutes, 
such as are now spreading in Bengal, established throughout 
the country, rural libraries in every school-centre, and girl 
guides’ troops, no less than boy scouts, ranging over every 
patch of hill or bush. There will then, ultimately and far 
hence, be less necessity for co-operative organizers to handle 
every kind of social problem, but so long as the country is 
undeveloped and the people are backward, organization 
must be very local and based on the village as a unit. 

Rural Community Councils 

The co-operative staff are continually among the peasants 
and enjoy their confidence ; it is therefore simpler and wiser 
to work through them. I imagine in the future a multipli- 
city of rural agencies, for health, adult education, amusement, 
and agricultural instruction, radiating through the country, 
and co-ordinated by a semi-official body in each district such 
as the Rural Community Councils of England and the 
Punjab. The virtue of a semi-official council is that it 
holds the several agencies together and helps to prevent 
overlapping, while keeping officials and non-officials in touch 
with one another for mutual assistance. 

The splendid work of Mr. Brayne in Gurgaon was carried 
out largely in the name, and partly by the means, of the 
district community council, and I suggest that the more an 
officer or organizer uses these institutions, the less his work 
will slip back when he himself is removed. On such a 
council the co-operative movement will always be repre- 
sented, and both private and public associations will thus 
learn and realize the advantage of employing an organization 
which exists, not to aggrandize itself, but to forward the 
ends of others. Where a co-ordinating council is lacking 
or inert, or where — as in many parts of the country — there 
are as yet no active bodies for rural reconstruction which 
can be co-ordinated, Co-operation is the only means by 
which the peasants can be grouped and taught for their own 
benefit and for the making of India a nation. 

What India Really Needs 



At a meeting of the Association held at the Caxton Hall, Westminster, on 
Tuesday, March 18, 1930, Mr. C. F. Strickland, i.C.s., lectured on “What 
India really needs.” The Most Hon. The Marquess of Linlithgow, k.t., 
G.C.I.E., occupied the chair, and the following ladies and gentlemen, 
amongst others, were present : 

Sir Louis William Dane,, c.s.i., Sir Michael O’Dwyer, g.C.i.e., 
K.C.S.I., Sir Harcourt Butler, g.c.s.i., g.c.i.e.. Sir Edward Maclagan, k.c.s.i., 
K.C.I.E., Sir John G. Gumming, k.c.i.e., c.s.i.. Sir Charles Armstrong, 
Lady Bennett, Sir James Walker, k.c.i.e., and Lady Walker, Sir William 
Ovens and Lady Clark, Sir Clement Hindley, k.c.i.e., and Lady Hindley, 
Sir John Kerr, k.c.s.i., k.c.i.e., Sir Philip Hartog, c.i.e.. Sir James 
MacKenna, c.i.e.. Sir Selwyn H. Fremantle, C.s.i., c.i.e.. Sir Edward Gait, 
k.c.s.i., c.i.e.. Sir Henry Lawrence, k.c.s.i.. Sir Cecil Walsh, Sir T. Carey 
Evans, m.c., f.r.c.s.. Lady Scott Moncrieff, Colonel B. B. A. Patterson, 
c.s.i., c.i.e., Mr. Henry Marsh, c.i.e., and Miss Marsh, Mr. J. A. D. Mc- 
Bain, c.i.e., Mr. H. A. F. Lindsay, c.i.e., c.b.e.. Major H. Blake Taylor, 
C.B.E., Mr. Vincent Esch, c.v.o., and Mrs. Esch, Mr. F. F. Lindsay, Dr. 
R. P. Paranjpye, Mr. F. J. P. Richter, Mrs. Strickland, Mr. P. K. Dutt, 
Colonel W. G. Hamilton, Colonel and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Colonel F. S. 
Terry and Miss Terry, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Westbrook, Mr. P. G. Robert- 
son, Miss Stacey, Mr. D. Scott Bremner, Mrs. Webber, Miss Corfield, Mrs. 
Martley, Mr. H. S. Noah, Mr. J. M. McKechnie, Moulvi Farzand Ali, 
Mr. A. H. Maynard, Mr, B. Dunlop, Mr. M. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. 
O. C. G. Hayter, Mr. Joseph Nissim, Mr. E. E. Gunter, Mr. S. C. Gupte, 
Mr. H. A. Gibbon, Miss K. L. Speechley, Colonel Goodenough, Major 
and Mrs. G. W. Gilbertson, Mr. R. K. Sorabji, Mrs. P. A. Weir, Mr. A. F. 
Fremantle, Miss A. J. Wills, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. AVillmott, Mr. Bradley, Mr. 
A. Bhatt, Mr. G. M. Ryan, Mrs. A. M. T. Jackson, Mrs. Ply men, Mr. Mc- 
Dougall, Mrs. Ameer Ali, Mr. B. M. Desai, Mr. Y. T. Desai, Mr. Fred- 
erick Wright, Mr. L. Sundaram, Mrs. Savern, Mr. G. Pilcher, Mrs. Latifi, 
Mr. Ghulam Qadir Khan, Mr. F. Grubb, Mr. Austin T. Young, Mr. 
Seymour Rouse, , Miss Gaywood, Mr. K. C. Keymer, and Mr. F. H. 
Brown, c.i.e., Hon. Secretary. 

The Chairman : Ladies and Gentlemen, — Amongst others who had 
hoped to be present today were Sir Atul Chatterjee, the High Commissioner, 
who unfortunately has been prevented, owing to his work on one of the 
numerous Committees on which he serves ; and also Sir Horace Plunkett, 
who has been prevented from attending owing to indisposition. Those 
present who know the great work Sir Horace Plunkett has done for 
co-operation will be pleased to know that he pays a warm tribute to the 
work of Mr. Strickland and other Registrars of co-operative societies in 
India for the contribution they are making to the economic advancement 
of the country. 

In introducing the speaker today I need only remind you that Mr. 

What India Really Needs 315 

Strickland was a distinguished member of the Indian Civil Service in the 
Punjab, and that he held the important office in the province of Registrar 
of Co operative Societies. No one is better equipped to give a lecture on 
Co-operation in India than is Mr. Strickland. He has prepared a paper 
which some of us in the room today have had the advantage of perusing. 
He asks me to say that he does not intend to read his paper through from 
end to end, preferring to make an extemporary address. 

The Lecture was then given. 

The Chairman : I congratulate Mr. Strickland on a most interesting 
address and a very valuable paper. I should like to say, first of all, a few 
words about two points, if I may be excused the irrelevancy, with which 
Mr. Strickland did not deal. He confined himself to the problems of the 
countryside. I think it is worth while pointing out that the urban and 
industrial population in India is of immense importance to agriculture and 
to the agriculturist. It goes without saying that the demand by the urban 
population and by industries in India for the food and for the raw material 
produced by the soil must be of the utmost importance to the cultivator. 
Agriculture and industry are complementary and mutually dependent, and 
a wise Government, concerned to promote the well-being of the farmer, will 
seek to expand the markets for his produce, whether for consumption in 
India or abroad. I should like also to be allowed to take this opportunity 
of saying a word about the very valuable efforts for rural betterment which 
are being made in the Indian States, notably in Mysore. In such matters 
as control of animal diseases and plant pests, the best results cannot be 
obtained unless procedure is uniform throughout India. It is much to be 
hoped that the Princes and the Durbars of the States may show an ever- 
growing readiness to co-operate for the solution of these problems in British 
India. In this connection it is, I think, appropriate to make reference to 
the public-spirited action of H.E.H. the Nizam of Hyderabad in placing at 
the disposal of the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research on its 
establishment the sum of Rs. 2, and undertaking to follow that up with an 
annual donation. (Applause.) 

I very much hope the Government of India and the local Governments 
may entertain sympathetically Mr. Strickland’s suggestion to use wireless 
broadcasting as a means of promoting rural betterment. There is good 
ground for holding that broadcasting, skilfully handled, would be an 
immensely powerful agent for good ; but, if the plan be attempted, I do 
hope the experiment may be bold, thorough, and sustained. 

Upon general considerations I should like to say that I for one, like the 
lecturer of today, am firmly persuaded that co-operation is the best hope 
for rural India. I am confident too that the single purpose credit society 
must for many years remain the chief instrument for extending co-operation 
and for teaching its principles. This is not to under-estimate the value of 
other types of societies, but it is quite clear that there can be no hope for 
the successful working of, for instance, sale and purchase societies where 
the cultivator’s existing indebtedness compels him to conduct all his 
transactions through his creditor, the moneylender. When the time 


What India Really Needs 

comes that the cultivator has been liberated from the greater part of his 
debt, then no doubt the other types of societies throughout India will play 
a great part in developing the countryside. It is impossible, I am 
persuaded, to overstress the importance of the educative function of 
co-operation, and, therefore, of the extent to which its virtue depends 
upon the health of the primary society. Quality, not numbers, is what 
counts. Let us make no mistake about it : co-operation may under 
certain circumstances be a very fertile field of what is called eyewash, unless 
surveillance is keen, and its direction in well-trained and high-principled 
hands. Flattering returns, year by year, showing increases in numbers ot 
societies, in membership and in working capital, are worthless and worse, 
unless the primary societies are sound, and unless the members are 
benefiting in terms of knowledge and character from their membership. 
Mr. Strickland has said the basis of co-operation is character. There can 
be no truer words. Nothing is to be gained by pretending, and Mr. 
Strickland has not told us — there are no weak places in the co-operative 
structure in India. It is proper to point out, for instance, that in 1927 the 
position was that in the Central Provinces the movement was recovering 
from a severe financial crisis, the worst consequences of which were only 
avoided by financial assistance from the local Government. This crisis 
had been due to financial mismanagement, accompanied by a culpable 
failure to educate members in co-operative principles. In the United 
Provinces the so-called Oakden Committee reported that the village 
societies were mostly a sham ; the principles of co-operation were not 
understood; and the staff appointed to teach was itself insufficiently 
trained and unfit for the work it was supposed to do. In that province a 
drastic overhaul of the movement is already producing promising results. 
In Madras in 1927 the overdue loans position was serious and giving cause 
for considerable uneasiness, while in Burma it was alleged that the move- 
ment was stationary, if not in some areas stagnant. That was the position 
in 1927. I must be a little careful, because it is alleged that those who 
have been to India are inclined on occasions to chew the cud of obsolete 
experiences, and to pass it off for a feast of wisdom up-to-date. I do not 
suppose things have altogether altered since 1927. No doubt commendable 
efforts are still being made to put these matters right, and I for one have 
no hesitation in affirming that if appropriate steps are taken they can be 
put right ; nor for a moment do I forget or desire that anyone else should 
forget the great good that co-operation is today achieving throughout India, 
or the remarkable successes attained in extending the movement through- 
out the sub-continent during the short period of twenty-six years. 

I hope those weak spots to which I have referred may serve as spurs to 
improvement and as lessons of what to avoid in the future. I hope that on 
no account may passing disappointments of that nature discourage fresh 
effort or shake confidence in the future of the movement. This great 
achievement, this spreading of co-operation during so short a period 
throughout the whole of India, has been an achievement possible only by 
reason of the devotion of those workers who, whether official or non-official. 

What India Really Needs 317 

have fostered and directed this great enterprise. In this connection, I 
venture to stress the urgent importance of appointing as Registrars only 
those who, by nature and training, are adequately equipped for the duty 
(hear, hear), and also of giving sufficient technical instruction to inspectors, 
and other officials in the co-operative service, and where possible, I would 
add, offering opportunities for education in the technique of co-operation 
to those volunteers who are willing to give their services. Co-operation is 
not quite such an easy matter as some people who have not applied their 
minds to co-operation appear to think. No one acquainted with the facts 
is likely to under-estimate the value of the services of the many patriotic 
and public-spirited persons who are voluntary workers in the cause in 
India. But the day is not yet when the movement will be able to dispense 
altogether with official guidance. For the present, the services of trained 
officers for education, supervision and inspection are necessary. 

Under existing conditions it is impossible to overstate the importance 
and value to the movement of the sympathetic interest and support of all 
those who are in public life in India. Time must elapse before the stimulus 
for rural betterment can reasonably be expected to flow from the normal 
working of any representative system of government. In countries in 
which constitutional evolution has been spontaneous, it is true to say that 
economic development has commonly preceded and, indeed, induced 
political change. In India that process has been reversed. That I 
believe to be a truth the profound significance of which is not lessened by 
the fact that the constitutional experiments we are witnessing today may, if 
successful, be expected to hasten economic and social changes. There is 
palpable risk that during the intermediate period political excitement may 
turn attention away from rural development, and weaken purpose and 
persistence in this great work. In this matter continuity of effort is vital. 
Without it you can achieve nothing. Sustain the effort long enough, and 
the desire for betterment will be communicated from those who seek to 
help the rural masses to the villager himself. When the impulse for 
progress, upon which all agricultural improvement must ultimately depend, 
becomes spontaneous in the breasts of the villagers, the battle will have 
been won. Desist now, and the faithful and patient labour of years will be 
thrown away, the jungle will move in, and the brightest prospect before 
rural India will be utterly effaced. 

Sir Selwyn Fremantle said that he had listened, as he was sure was 
the case with all of them, with the greatest interest to the exposition of co- 
operative principles and the account of their adaptation to the Punjab 
which Mr. Strickland had given them. As a hardened co-operator he was 
not going to quarrel with what the lecturer had said, especially as he knew 
that it was based not only on his experience in the Punjab but in his 
studies of co-operation in pretty well all the European countries. He 
rather regretted that the majority of the audience had not had a chance of 
seeing the paper which Mr. Strickland was supposed to read, because it 
gave a most interesting description of the various forms of societies which 
had been started in the Punjab, and would be of great value to those who 

What India Really Needs 


were only acquainted with what had been done in the rest of India. It 
was marvellous what had been done in the Punjab. The chairman had 
told them something of the state of co-operation in the other provinces. 
It was true that the defects had now been recognized and great efforts were 
being made, certainly in his province, with some success to put matters 
right. There was no doubt that in time things would come right. He 
had had occasion when writing an article on this subject to look up the old 
records of co-operation in the Punjab. In one report for about the year 
1916-17 it was stated that 5,000 members had been expelled from the 
societies. At that time co-operation was in just as bad a condition in the 
Punjab as it was ten years later in some of the other provinces of which 
they had heard. To what was to be attributed the present position, which, 
as he had said, was very different in the Punjab to what it was in other 
parts of India ? He submitted that the causes were very clear. In the 
Punjab there had been three picked men who had been working for co- 
operation for the last ten or twelve years, of whom Mr. Strickland was one, 
Mr. Calvert was another and Mr. Darling was the third. Those were the 
men who had made co-operation in the Punjab. If the other provinces 
had been far-sighted enough to give the services of three of their best 
revenue officers to the cause of co-operation in those particular years, they 
would have had a very different story to tell today. That revival of agri- 
culture which was contemplated by the Royal Agricultural Commission 
would have gone further forward if the other provinces had been today in 
the condition of the Punjab. As representing a neighbouring and some- 
times rival province he felt that he should congratulate Mr. Strickland and 
his associates heartily on the wonderful work that they had been able to do. 
He was struck by one passage in Mr. Strickland’s paper in which he stated 
that “ the old village organization is no longer strong enough to impose its 
will on backward or recalcitrant individuals, and each man is, in matters 
not concerning his caste or his religion, a law unto himself,” because it 
corresponded so closely with his own experience. Mr. Strickland had told 
them that the way to remedy that was through co-operative organization, 
and no doubt there was a great deal of truth in that. In his opinion there 
was something that India needed beyond that, and that was the re- 
organization of local government so that it might be a reality and be 
brought down to the homes and the activities of the people, which certainly 
was not the case at present. What had they in the way of local govern- 
ment in India ? They had a district board sitting at headquarters with 
thirty or forty members who deliberated on the affairs of perhaps a 
thousand or two thousand villages. They could not go into details in 
those matters, nor could the educational and other committees of the 
board. Except in a case where sectional disputes arose or in cases of 
personal matters the district board knew practically nothing about the 
villages and had to leave everything to their permanent staff. There was 
not in Northern India anything to correspond to our own rural district 
councils, which administered in this country roads, sanitation and public 
health, or to our parish councils, which administered commons and foot- 

What India Really Needs 319 

paths, lighting and other small matters which were important to the 

It was always a moot question as to what extent village punchayets were 
really effective in former days. But there was the possibility of reviving 
them, and in some provinces there had been an attempt at revival ; but it 
had been a half-hearted attempt, and the panchayats had never been given 
any considerable powers, nor had they any organic connection with the 
district board. He did not say that it would be an easy thing to revive 
the village punchayats throughout the many villages of Northern India, 
neither was he quite sure that it ought to be done ; but there was another 
possibility — namely, that of union boards such as had been formed in 
Bengal, which covered an area of sixteen to twenty square miles, and a 
population of 8,000 to 10,000 people. That was a very interesting 
development, and it was quite possible that something could be done 
through them. His point was that there ought to be some organization of 
local government to bring it down to smaller areas in order that the people 
might be taught to take an interest in their own local affairs. At present 
they were so apathetic, as Mr. Strickland had pointed out. If some 
thorough reorganization of local government throughout Northern India 
could be affected, it would have a most excellent educative value and 
would also stimulate that spirit of enterprise and enquiry without which 
any advance either towards co-operation or towards education or towards 
the improvement of agriculture or sanitation or towards anything else 
would only be very slow and painful. (Applause.) 

Sir James MacKenna said that the fact that after twenty-six years’ work 
there were, out of 110,000 societies, only 10,000 other than credit societies 
was not a position that could make co-operators feel particularly happy. 
He thought that the co-operative movement had had a shake-up during the 
last four or five years that was going to be all to its good. Official and 
departmental control must, of course, ultimately disappear, though it might 
be a long time before this would be possible. With regard to the central 
banks, a very large percentage of the money in the Burma Central Bank 
came from Europeans. That was not a satisfactory state of affairs. They 
were no doubt aftdr the 7I per cent, and 8 per cent., but he thought that 
most of them now wished that they had bought War Loan. In the 
development of the co-operative movement, the whole fabric should be 
slowly worked up from the solid credit of the village society up to the 
group or Union culminating in the district bank financed by the societies 
themselves or by residents trusted in the district who knew the manage- 
ment, otherwise he was afraid there was not much future for co-operation. 

Mr. H. A. F. Lindsay said he desired to add his humble tribute to 
what previous speakers had said in recognition of Mr. Strickland’s paper. 
It was also the tribute of one who had known him for many years. He 
regretted to say he came to the meeting with none of the experiences of 
the previous speakers. He had no expert knowledge of co-operative 
credit in India, but he approached the matter entirely from the point of 
view of a commercial man. The fascinating title which Mr. Strickland 


What India Really Needs 

had chosen for his address made one think that after all there was a good 
deal in common between the agricultural and industrial efforts of India 
and the general trade position in which we found ourselves now. Restat- 
ing Mr. Strickland’s conclusions in other words, he suggested that the 
co-operation which India was seeking was a co-operation which the whole 
world also required. It was a co-operation which meant greater confi- 
dence. Throughout the world and in world trade what we were suffering 
from was lack of knowledge of each other, and, therefore, lack of confi- 
dence. When Mr. Strickland suggested that co-operation was a cure for 
that, he was really suggesting that India should get together just as the 
other countries of the world in similar circumstances must always get 
together and know each other better and from that mutual knowledge 
should arrive at a position in which alone progress was possible — namely, 
from organization based on mutual knowledge, confidence, and respect. 
The desperate condition of world trade at present was chiefly due to the 
fact that all those delicate threads which made up the web of commerce 
had been torn by the war, and were now being reconstructed. We had to 
know each other better before we could trust each other. Was not that 
exactly the position which co-operation induced in India ? That was to say, 
that every ryot was, through the medium of co-operation getting to know 
his fellow better, therefore getting to trust him, and therefore smoothing 
the way for the organization necessary for further progress. He was very 
much struck on a visit to India last year by the evidences of closer and 
better co-operation throughout India. He would like to remind Mr. Strick- 
land of the organization of the Joint Development Board, which in one 
body supervised both agricultural and industrial progress in the Punjab. 
He would like to suggest also that besides broadcasting as a means of 
education, mutual knowledge, mutual confidence, and mutual respect, 
there was also the film, which would be increasingly used, he thought, as a 
means of agricultural education in India. Finally he would suggest 
another line of advance in the future of which certain signs were evident 
at present, and that was a closer relationship between the banking system 
and the co-operative credit system of India ; not, as Mr. Strickland him- 
self had said, in order to increase the volume of credit available, but to 
ensure the maintenance of those standards of account and audit which of 
themselves would ensure greater confidence in the system, and, therefore, 
closer co-operation among various members. (Applause.) 

Mr. O. C. G. Hayter said still less than the last speaker had he any 
right to address the meeting on co-operative societies from the point of 
view of knowledge of the societies themselves ; but in his experience he 
had learnt a certain amount about them, especially how very valuable they 
were to the men of the police force in the matter of their debts and of 
keeping them out of debt and keeping them straight generally. His idea, 
however, was to speak not as as one who, as their Chairman had said, 
might chew the cud of experience in India, but simply as a resident citizen 
in England today. In his opinion people in England should be very much 
indebted to men like Mr. Strickland, who gave of their experience to 

What India Really Needs 


enlighten people about these very important matters in India. If he had 
never been in India at all, he would have been convinced by Mr. Strick- 
land’s paper of the very vast importance of the question of the improvement 
and welfare of the Indian villages which contained such an enormous 
proportion of the whole population. He had always felt that it was the 
villager who wanted help and support and everything that could possibly 
be done for him. Looking at it from that point of view, it was really 
astonishing to reflect how little was said among the huge volume of reports 
and discussions, newspaper writings and articles in magazines and so forth, 
of the welfare of the villages. There was very urgent need that those who 
lead the agricultural population and those who stand for them should come 
forward a bit more and put their views before the people in this country. 

‘ They had heard from the Chairman that the agricultural population 
could not be considered by itself; that the welfare of the cities and 
industries was all-important to the welfare of the villages. The trouble 
seemed to be that so far as information given to the people of England was 
concerned they were told everything, or a very great deal, about the 
interests and opinions and the views and the influences of the people in the 
cities, but not about the people in the villages. He would suggest that 
such information as Mr. Strickland, and men who had worked as he bad done 
for the benefit of the villagers, could give them, should be put before the 
British people and very widely disseminated. What was wanted most of 
all was that men who represented the agricultural interests of India should 
come forward and speak up for those interests. (Applause.) 

Professor R. K. Sor.^bji said that while he greatly admired Mr. Strick- 
land’s paper, he noticed that he said that the basis of everything was 
character. He could not see how character was to be put into people 
when they reached a certain age, merely by the co-operative system. At 
the back of India’s great need was the greater need of education. It was 
one of his sorrows that education was a transferred subject. They ought 
to have kept it in the highest hands, not because India would not be 
capable of managing her own education some day, but that she had not 
had the advantage of training on the public school and old-time University 
system as Englishmen had. All scientists led us to a certain point, and 
then did not take us further. Some, for example, led us to electrons, but 
could not tell us what accounted for the life in the electron. So Mr. 
Strickland had taken them to the credit society, but not to what would 
create the character necessary for the success of the credit system. He' 
did not know how these people were going to be trained to run these 
excellent credit societies in the various villages. It was education — an 
education to fit each for his particular vocation — that they needed, and a 
great mistake was made by allowing it to become a transferred subject. 
Sound education alone could create character. 

Sir Louis Dane said he was Lieutenant-Governor soon after the move- 
ment was started in the Punjab, and he was glad to hear that it had 
done so well. They began on very small lines, and what was even 
more important, they took very good care with regard to the officers they 


What India Really Needs 

selected for putting in charge of the work. There was no doubt that work 
of this kind could not succeed in India in present circumstances unless it 
was in the hands of absolutely independent and carefully trained officers, 
who were devoted to that particular class of work. Somebody had said 
that the paper that Mr. Strickland had read was a great credit to himself 
and to the service, but he was a little sorry to hear every now and then 
crop up — perhaps the sound of the word was so unpleasant that it appeared 
to him to be more ubiquitous than ever — and that was the word “fine.” 
There seemed to be a good deal of fining of people for certain things. He 
had hoped that the enthusiasm of the officers in the co-operative movement 
would, as in Mr. Strickland’s case, be tempered by experience. In India 
one had to go very slow and to avoid always stirring up the people with 
some new departure or department. Results might be disappointing, but 
they would come in the long run, and the foundation would then be secure. 

There was one thing which the Chairman had touched on which he 
would like to emphasize. They had heard how difficult it was to carry out 
this co-operative movement in the villages and how difficult all village up- 
lift was, but there was one absolute certainty. If the villagers were to be 
incited to refuse to pay rents and to cease to pay that share of the produce 
in the shape of land revenue which had been for centuries upon centuries 
the foundation of all government and administration in India, then it was 
absolutely certain that the co-operative movement would be the very first 
thing which would crash down to rack and ruin, as the peasants would 
certainly refuse to pay their debts. 

On behalf of the Association he offered their thanks to Lord Linlithgow 
for his attendance and also to Mr. Strickland for his most valuable paper. 

Mr. Strickland ; I have only one or two points to make in reply. 
There are so many questions which have been raised upon which it is 
impossible for me to touch without keeping you too long. I am sadly 
disappointed to find, in spite of all my plans, that I am put down as talking 
about the Punjab. I did do ray best to avoid the Punjab, and my remarks 
were intended to apply to all India. You, my lord, pointed out that other 
provinces in some cases have not altogether done well, but I felt that it 
would be entirely improper for me, as a Punjabi, to draw attention to the fact. 

I do not think Sir James MacKenna meant for a moment that official 
interest and guidance should be withdrawn all at once. In such a step one 
must be cautious. Although I fully agree with the ideal of a self-governing 
movement, yet so long as the bulk of the people remain comparatively 
uninformed and limited in their view, you cannot help giving them 
guidance from outside. We would gladly give them non-official guidance 
if we could find non-officials who are prepared to give their whole time, not 
their spare time, to the work, and, secondly, if they are prepared to travel 
all over the world in order to instruct themselves. I put those two tests to 
non-officials. If they will do that, they can replace official guides. 

Mr. Lindsay attached importance to the audit of accounts from the 
banker s point of view. There, again, the urgent need of a trained 
staff is obvious. 


What India Really Needs 

Then Sir Louis Dane speaks of fines. I think what he said was based 
on a misconception. The fines that are imposed are not imposed by the 
staff, not by the inspectors, but by the elected Committees, and if a Society 
thinks the Committee has fined a man unjustly it can depose the 
Committee. The method is quite democratic. It is not giving more 
power to the staff. I do not want the staff to have power, but I do want 
them to have great knowledge, training, and experience of other countries, 
so that they can go to the village as patriotic but broadminded friends, not 
to give orders, but to give guidance. I wonder how many people realize 
that under the Co-operative Societies Act a co-operative inspector in the 
first place does not exist, and in the second place he has no powers. He 
is purely a guide. That does not apply to a Registrar, of course. The 
training of the staff is the first essential to co-operative success. 

Sir Henry Lawrence in proposing a vote of thanks to the Chairman 
said that he was sure that he was voicing the opinions of them all in saying 
bow very grateful they were to Lord Linlithgow for having spared time 
from his many engagements to preside over them that afternoon. He also 
proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Strickland for his very valuable paper. 


Lord Erleigh, Vice-Chairman of the British Indian Union, 
has intimated in a letter to the Hon. Secretary that the 
Committee are most anxious that everyone interested in 
Indian affairs should have an opportunity of attending the 
social functions arranged by the British Indian Union. 
To this end members of the East India Association will be 
eligible to apply to the Society at lo, Grosvenor Gardens, 
S.W. I, for tickets for any function of the Union they may 
wish to attend. 

Some of the functions being arranged by the British 
Indian Union from April to June are as follows : 

April 24. — Dinner at the Taj Mahal Restaurant, 7.30 p.m. 

May I. — Luncheon at the Hotel Rubens, i p.m. (This is the birthday 
of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught.) 

May 15. — Tea at the Hotel Metropole, 4.15 p.m. 

May 29.— Dinner at the Taj Mahal Restaurant, 7.30 p.m. 

June 13. — Luncheon at the Hotel Rubens, i p.m. 

June 17. — -Tea at the Hotel Metropole, 4.15 p.m. 

June 26. — Dinner at the Taj Mahal Restaurant, 7.30 p.m. 



Conducted by W. E. D. Allen, m.p. 


By Mustafa Chokaiev 

{Jntroiiuctory note.) 

[The author of this article has already contributed two articles to the 
Asiatic Review, in April, 1928, on “The Basmaji Movement in Turkes- 
tan,” and in July, 1929, on “The Bolsheviks and Afghanistan.” Mr. 
Chokaiev was President of the Provisional Government of Autonomous 
Turkestan, which was elected by the E.xtraordinary Congress of Turkestan 
Mussalmans in November, 1917, and which was suppressed as a result of 
the bombardment of Kokand by troops of the Tashkent Sovnarkom on 
January 31, 1918. 

Mr. Chokaiev is regarded as one of the leaders of Mussalman political 
thought in the Middle East, and has numerous connections in Turkey, 
Persia, and Afghanistan, which enables him to form a particularly authori- 
tative view on the problems of those regions.] 

I. Causes or the Fall of Amanullah 

The civil war which raged in Afghanistan for more than a year is now 
over. Bacha-i-Saqao, the conqueror of Amanullah, has, after a nine 
months’ reign, disappeared from the horizon. On the Afghan throne we 
now have Nadir Khan. Nadir Khan is not an “arrivist,” whose accession 
to the throne of Afghanistan can be interpreted as the outcome of his 
personal ambitions, for his accession resulted from, and was justified by, 
the course of events. 

After the fall of Amanullah and the unsuccessful three days’ rule of 
Inayatullah, after the nine months’ “ profanation ” of the national feeling 
of the Afghans by the appearance on the Kabul throne of a water-carrier’s 
son, the accession to the throne of Afghanistan of Nadir Khan — who 
is the most experienced and popular patriot in the country — is an act not 
only legitimate, but also unavoidable, if considered from the point of view 
of the interests of a country which is awakening to a new life. One must 
assume — and I am one of those who firmly believes in this — that Nadir 
Khan is just the man who can give the Afghans that which they them- 
selves — while they have no clear-cut idea of what they want — are seeking 
in the darkness of their yet unawakened political consciousness. 

And really what did the Afghans want when they decided to revolt 
against Amanullah in the autumn 01 1928? What demands of political 
and social character did they put forward when embarking upon the horrors 
of a civil war that jeopardized even the existence of Afghanistan itself? 
Which of the reforms of Amanullah caused so great an indignation among 
the people that an armed resistance — the sorry results of which could not 
have been unforeseen by the leaders — became unavoidable ? 

Politically definite answers are difficult to find to these questions. The 
two official documents which express, so to speak, the pia desiderata of 
the revolted Afghan people do not contain a single paragrafih that could 
be considered as of a political nature. I have in mind, in the first place, 
the Proclamation of the Clergy of the Northern Provinces, and in the 
second the Appeal of the Clergy of Kandahar. 

Among the twenty-one articles of the first document (it was published 
on January 23, 1928) there is only one — namely, the fifteenth— which we 
might suspect as referring to what we call “ politics.” It is the mention of 
the stopping of allowances from the State Treasury to the Mullahs and 

The Situation in Afghanistan 325 

“ Muezzins and other servants of the mosques.” Even this defence of 
the “ earthly interests ” of the clergy is placed under the cover of the 
“ Sacred Shariat.” 

The clergy of Kandahar, the region where Amanullah had indeed sound 
personal connections, demand (Article 7) “ the inclusion in the National 
Council and on the Executive Commissions of the Ulemas to the number 
of half, or in any case not less than one-third of the whole composition, to 
see that legislation conforms with the dogmas of the Shariat.” 

In all the other articles of both these documents, which enumerate 
so assiduously all the causes of the national discontent with the govern- 
ment of Amanullah, no mention, not even by way of hint, is made of 
politics. All the “ crimes ” of Amanullah are pointed out therein, 

“ crimes ” such as the sending of the Afghan girls abroad for higher 
education ; the opening of girts’ schools which daughters could attend 
without the format permission of their fathers or their husbands ; the order 
to wear the European dress and headgear ; the change of the day of rest 
from Friday to Thursday ; the abolition of the veil. . . . There is, too, 
an article accusing Amanullah of negligence in “observing the prayer 
ritual constituting one of the pillars of the Mussalman religion,” etc. 

Of the really great political or State reforms of Amanullah only one — 
namely, the reform of the military service — was opposed by the tribes 
of the Eastern Provinces. In the manifesto revoking the reforms 
(January 7, 1929) Amanullah states: “The recruiting was conducted 
by lots, for which purpose a census had to be introduced. This was 
in order that the entire population might be brought under military service 
for the defence of the country.” But “ as the population is not satisfied 
with this measure, the census will not be applied. . . . The recruiting 
will be carried out as before on a tribal basis — i.e., the required number 
of recruits will be divided among the different tribes.” 

From this it is clear that the State reforms of Amanullah were subjected 
to attacks by the upholders of the interests of the tribal order. The defence 
of the Shariat and of the tribal system constituted the source of the “ popular 
wrath ” against Amanullah. We have, it seems, approached near enough 
to comprehend the causes of the Afghan tragedy. We have on one side the 
king-reformer considering the Afghans as a united, single political organ- 
ism, as a unified state-nation ; and on the other side the Afghan tribes, 
who, looking at the State, can comprehend it only from the point of view 
of the tribal interests, to defend which the principles of the “ Sacred 
Shariat ” are put forward. 

Amanullah was in the end compelled to abandon his reforms. The 
girls who had been sent abroad to study were ordered to return ; reintro- 
ducing the veils, he forbade the women to uncover their faces or hands. 
He closed down all the girls’ schools, revoked the order about the 
European dress, transferred the day of rest back to Friday, although this 
measure was adopted according to his own interpretation as a “ measure 
necessary for the regular attendance of the Friday prayers by the officials 
and the students.” He permitted all those who had accomplished their 
studies at Dive-Bend (a high ecclesiastical institution in India) to return 
to Afghanistan and to resume their occupation as preachers and teachers. 
About the revoking of the orders for military service, mention has been 
made above. 

It would seem that all the causes of disagreement between the King and 
his subjects had been removed, and peace should have reigned once 
more. But, alas ! the recantation of Amanullah fell on deaf ears ; he 
appealed in vain. Some of the tribes and the heads of the clergy continued 
to struggle. And this is comprehensible so far as the fight against 
Amanullah was begun in the name of the Shariat. According to the 
Shariat, even the repentant sinner must be punished as if offering an 
expiatory sacrifice. And Amanullah was to offer this sacrifice ; he 

326 The Situation in Afghanistan 

renounced his throne in favour of his brother Inayatullah. But even this 
sacrifice on the part of Amanullah did not quieten the country. 
Inayatullah also in his turn was obliged to abdicate. Amanullah now 
attempted to cancel his renunciation and to continue the fight. But his 
former authority had been already undermined. By dropping the 
reforms, he had, to put it mildly, cooled down the zeal of the staunch 
supporters of “ Europeanization,” while on the other hand his retreat ap- 
peared to confirm the justness of the insurgents’ cause and thereby 
strengthened their position. 

The path to the throne remained open, and the water-carrier’s son — 
Bacha-i-Saqao — was assuredly approaching Kabul. The event was not 
“ blessed with the class sympathy of the Afghan peasantry ” as the Soviet 
Press attempted to interpret it. “ The revolt in Afghanistan,” as we read 
in the Press Bulletin of Middle Asia, No. 2, 1929, “ was in its conception 
a peasant revolt It was, indeed, the agrarian question that was the 
occasion of the revolt of the Afghan tribes of Khugiani and Shinwari and 
of the Kuhistanians, together with the other non-Afghan tribes of 
Northern Afghanistan.” Such is the “ class ” stencil of the Bolsheviks. 
The revolt in Afghanistan they called a peasants’ revolt only because the 
rebel soldiery consisted exclusively of peasants. But it could not have 
been otherwise, as the peasantry constitute an overwhelming majority of 
the population of Afghanistan. The army of Amanullah also was com- 
posed of peasants. One could call it a peasants’ revolt only if the pro- 
gramme of the rebellion had reflected the needs and demands of the 
peasantry. All the “ economic misfortunes ” which the peasantry endured 
they attributed simply to the “ chastisement ” from God for the non- 
observance by Amanullah Khan “ of the stern rules of the Sacred 
Shariat.” When economic problems are explained by “ a Divine will ” 
and are made dependent upon the observance of the “ prayer-ritual,” it is 
useless to speak of the “class-consciousness” or even of the “class-feel- 
ing of the Afghan peasants. 

I shall quote a few more extracts from the above-mentioned Bolshevik 
source : 

“ The path which the Kabul government (of Bacha-i-Saqao) chose to 
follow created a certain disappointment among the peasantry, who expected 
the satisfaction of their immediate needs. . . . And it is in this disap- 
pointment that the fundamental (italics in the original) cause of the failure 
of Habibullah is to be found. Had the latter administered to the needs 
of the peasantry of both Northern and Southern Afghanistan, the move- 
ment headed by him would not only not have been checked, but it would 
have attained an expansion unheard of for Afghanistan.” 

The Bolsheviks anxiously waited for this expansion. They hoped that 
the expansion of the [)easants’ movement “ led by Habibullah ” would 
infect India and thus facilitate the expulsion of the British from that 
peninsula. But this hope could not and did not materialize. On the 
contrary, Bacha-i-Saqao “elevated to the throne” — according to the 
Bolshevik Press — “ on the crest of the peasant revolt ” restored feudal 
authority. Why did Bacha-i-Saqao turn so quickly against those who had 
placed him on the throne? The answer was easy to find. England was 
accused as being the plotter. 

“The restoration of feudal authority means the creation of all the 
necessary conditions for the English colonization of the country ” (italics are 
original) declared the Bulletin of the Middle Asian Press (No. 8). Thus, 
according to the Bolshevik Press, the English first incited the Afghan 
peasants against Amanullah, who could not check the feudalism which 
enslaved them ; and when “ the peasant movement ” had won, the same 
English compelled Bacha-i-Saqao, the “ leader ” of the peasant movement, 
to restore feudalism in order to facilitate the colonization of the country 
by the English. ■' 

The Situation in Afghanistan 327 

What conclusion could one derive from this ? The Bolsheviks them- 
selves provide the answer. “ The struggle against the Kabul monarchy ” 
— we read in the above-mentioned Bulletin — “carried on by the population 
of the south with Amanullah at their head, is the struggle for the inde- 
pendence of Afghanistan.” In other words, the Afghan peasantry is now 
behind the man against whom they had rebelled. Not satisfied with such 
a simple explanation of the “ change of front by the peasantry,” the 
Bolsheviks advise Amanullah to fight against England. “ One must 
perceive clearly,” write the Bolsheviks in the Bulletin, “that the struggle 
against the English Imperialism can be successful only if decisive measures 
are adopted for the actual improvement of the conditions of the peasantry 
such as the reduction of taxes, regulation of irrigation, etc ” The satis- 
faction of the peasantry as suggested by the Bolsheviks under the conditions 
that prevail in Afghanistan would inevitably lead to a collision with the 
“ principles of the Sacred Shariat ” and of tribal government — the two most 
important pillars of contemporary Afghanistan, the seemingly unsympathetic 
and disrespectful attitude which alone brought about the disastrous 
rising against Amanullah. These two internal, so to speak, natural 
difficulties in the way of the modernization of Afghanistan are attributed 
by the Bolsheviks to the machinations of England. For the leaders of 
Afghanistan the struggle against England must be taken as the first step 
towards the establishment of the independence of Afghanistan, while to 
the Afghan masses the struggle against England is interpreted as something 
of absolute necessity which will lead to the satisfaction of all their needs. 
Without the victory over British Imperialism, argue the Bolsheviks, it will 
never be possible to reduce taxation, to increase the grant of lands, nor to 
develop internal trade. 

This is one of the aspects of Bolshevik anti-British propaganda under- 
taken with the object of instilling into the conscience of the Afghan 
masses hostility against England. This aim is pursued by the Bolsheviks 
wherever there are British interests, not only abroad, but also within the 
Soviet Union in the countries adjacent to the British possessions (for 
instance, in Turkestan). 

2. The Failure of Bacha-i-Saqao 

The civil war had ended. Nadir Khan mounted the Afghan throne. 
The leader of the “ peasant movement,” Bacha-i-Saqao, completely 
disappeared from the horizon. Those of the Mullahs of the Northern 
Provinces who backed Bacha-i-Saqao, who called upon the Afghans to 
follow his banner, the banner of the “ servant of the true faith,” will hardly 
think of canonizing him and including him among the “ shahids ” —, the 
martyrs of the faith. Amanullah remained in Europe. After the repeal of 
his reforms, after his abdication from the throne, to return to Afghanistan 
might appear hard for him. It may even be impossible without some risk 
of a new civil war, the outcome of which would arouse no doubt in anyone. 
“ The power is again in the hands of the sirdars and the Afghan nobility,” 
write the Bolsheviks, disappointed with the result of the civil war, and the 
success of the new power they place in direct dependence on its ability to 
withstand and oppose the designs of England. 

When Nadir Khan attained power, the Bolsheviks hastened to declare 
him to be the English candidate, the dupe of the Afghan feudals, and 
ready to place Afghanistan under the British colonial regime. But it so 
happened that Nadir Khan sent his envoy to Moscow much earlier than to 
London ; and the Bolsheviks, pleased with this attention, proclaimed that 
England had miscalculated her chances, and that Nadir Khan was more 
cordially disposed towards the Soviet Russia. 

Nadir Khan crushed the anarchy that reigned in the country and 
conquered Bacha-i-Saqao, the representative of “ the poorest peasantry and 
proletariat ” — not as a protagonist of the Afghan sirdars — the “ hereditary 


The Sitiiation in Afghanistan 

nobility but as a zealous patriot, who succeeded in placing the interests 
ot the country above those of the nobility. Among the Afghan public men, 
two have always been conspicuous figures. They are Mahmud Tarzi Khan, 
at present residing in Turkey, and Nadir Khan. Both are, by the way, 
a e to Amanullah. The wife of the ex-King is a daughter of Mahmud 
^ of Nadir Khan was the wife of Amanullah’s 

er. But the importance and role of these personages lies not in their 
relationship to the ex-King. Both of them— Tarzi Khan and Nadir Khan 
are the real creators of contemporary Afghanistan. Nadir Khan held, 
however, moderate views both with regard to the internal and external 
politics of Afghanistan. 

Having for some years commanded the armed forces of Afghanistan, 
which were the real emanation of the Afghan tribes, Nadir Khan, could, 
more an anyone else, know and understand the psychology of the tribal 
sys em o government. It may also be that the innate conservatism 
M military career played no small role in the conduct of 

wadir Khan. However it may have been. Nadir Khan while sympathizing 
m fi, ^ *‘®forms of Amanullah, never inwardly approved of the haste and 
methods of introduction of some of them. Hence the cooling of the 
relationship between him and the King. 

In 1924 Nadir Khan was sent to Paris as an Envoy. Even then it was 
Whispered that the appointment was tantamount to a peaceful exile. Soon 
atter, all his brothers resigned their posts ; of these one was the closest 
friend of Amanullah, and all were his relatives. . . . This change did not 
pass unnoticed in the country. Rumours went round that Nadir Khan 
and his relatives were removed for the reason that they did not approve 
bLe^d^^”*^”* Amanullah. And the rumours were 

that Nadir Khan and his relatives remained 
general popular indignation,” while the venerable 
Dr a c of Amanullah and of his daughter the 

^-yueen. Bacha-i-Saqao knew, of course, of the popularity of Nadir Khan, 
ihat IS why he, after usurping the power, decided to invite Nadir Khan, 
Premiership of the newly formed Government. Sirdar 
Abdul Aziz Khan, the ex-Envoy of Afghanistan in Persia, relates in a 
Teheran newspaper, (May 4-13, 1929), how he and Ahmed Shah 

Khan were sent by the new Kabul Emir to France to fetch Nadir Khan. 

was then in a peculiar position. He was still respected to a 

NanTrVh r.' success in his struggle against Bacha-i-Saqao. 

Nadir Khan is undoubtedly a great personality. He sympathized with the 
modernizing activity of Amanullah, yet he was not involved in the eyes of 

Stall “■?' feeltags offended-ta .he “dis.o, 5 io„ of 

circu^stan^cpthut ^ Shariat. To this must also be added the 

^ ^eated after the enthronement of Bacha-i-Saqao This 

S wL' E-ir Habibullah, did not live up to expectarns. In 
ThTann J Northern Province. 

contains a^omr nttf ^ Province previously referred to 

contains among others the following passage ; 

Nnrthpr’n Muslims, and particularly the population of the 

moment tLrp 7 n“’ Amanullah . . .‘from the present 

Will and the recognize ourselves in accordance with God’s 

nanions as sintl K Great Prophet and his Fellow-Com- 

honour the servant Emir Habibullah, who is a man of 

Proohe't a man nf ° t people, the defender of the pure faith of the 
W^reSeni^e him f ‘'th p ^is subjects, 

he affa^of S^^e ?n a H ‘^at he conducts 
Shariat ’’ ^ ^ accordance with the Divine Will and the Laws of the 

In tins same appeal, Amanullah was accused of having compelled the 

The Situation in Afghanistan 329 

Afghans “to learn reading and writing in English and to memorize the 
names of the unfaithful kings.” 

But, alas ! the “ defender of the pure faith,” Habibullah-Bacha-i-Saqao, 
himself hastened to reopen the school for foreign languages : English, 
French, and Russian. At the opening of this school Kiam-ed-din Khan, 
a close collaborator of Bacha-i-Saqao, delivered a speech in which he 
emphasized the importance of learning “ the languages of the Unbelievers,” 
without the knowledge of which it was impossible to have normal relations 
with foreign states. 

It cannot be said, of course, that Bacha-i-Saqao seriously offended his 
“sincere Muslims” by this act, but it is not to be doubted that the 
reopening of the school “of the languages of the Unbelievers ” weakened 
one of the strongest arguments against Amanullah. Bacha-i-Saqao failed 
to restore order in the country. The civil war degenerated into anarchy. 
Those who expected “ miracles” as a result of the removal from power of 
“ the defiler of the Shariat principles ” (Amanullah) began to feel the pangs 
of remorse. And if they did not think of now turning to Amanullah, they 
nevertheless lost their original zeal for the support at any cost of Bacha-i- 
Saqao. “The waves of the ocean of his glory ” negan to abate, and “the 
splendour of his rule ” to dim, from the moment when, having sobered 
down from the intoxication with the initial victories, the insurgents found 
on the Kabul throne a man they considered a Tadjik instead of a real 
Afghan. The offended tribal feeling now overcame all other considerations, 
and the struggle between the two principles became very conspicuous. In the 
name of the purity of the Shariat the majority brought Bacha-i-Saqao to power; 
while Nadir Khan, making the tribal pride the kernel stone of his policy, 
began to operate against the Tadjik — called the “ thief from Kuhimadan ” who 
usurped the throne of Afghanistan. And in this struggle the Afghan tribes 
began to rally round the strong and patriotic personality of Nadir Khan. 

I do not wish to say that Nadir Khan wanted to kindle the inter-tribal 
differences in Afghanistan. He called upon the Afghan tribes to unite in 
the merciless fight against the “ thief of Kuhimadan ” inviting them to 
unite in the cause of the restoration of the Afghan State and the 
Afghan Government. Yet at the same time he appealed also to the popu- 
lation, or, as he called them himself, “the brethren from Kuhistan and 
Kuhimadan,” with the words of exhortation : 

“The Almighty God sees” — writes Nadir Khan in his appeal to the 
latter — “ that I do not understand what has become of you ! Only for 
pleasure and greed and for the strengthening of the tyranny of thieves 
have you dishonoured and vilified yourselves, you who were thought 
honest, diligent, and faithful.” And further, he threatens : “ And for the 
future you bring on yourselves and on your future generations the enmity of 
all the Afghan tribes! 

3. The Prospects of Nadir Khan 

There is no doubt that in this differentiation of Afghan and non-Afghan 
tribes lies one of the hidden moving forces in contemporary Afghanistan. 
However progressively-minded be Nadir Khan or any other Afghan public 
man, and however quickly they may want to eradicate the tribal bound- 
aries, it is impossible for them not to feel “ nationally ” offended at the 
fact that the throne was ascended by a non-Afghan. Hence the different 
character of Nadir Khan’s appeals to the Afghan tribes and to the popula- 
tion of Kuhistan and Kuhimadan. 

We must remember that even Amanullah, who did so much for the 
eradication of the tribal differentiations, was compelled to turn for support 
to his own tribe, the Durranis. Nadir Khan won the fight. Although he 
had no pretension to the throne, he found himself King of Afghanistan. 
What hopes does his government hold out to Afghanistan? Does his 
assumption of power mean the abandonment of the reforms and the 

330 The Situation in Afghanistan 

Europeanization of the country begun by Amanullah? The victory of 
Nadir Khan is not an event of a casual character, or one of the episodes 
of a civil war. It is an end of the Afghan tragedy. 

The path taken by Amanullah, the path of progress and towards the 
Europeanization of Afghanistan is a right path. The method and some 
detail of Amanullah’s reforms could and should be criticized, but in their 
essence, in their principle, they are indisputable. The Afghans are still in 
a stage of political infancy. They became afraid of the European dress ; 
their wild primitive caprice made them antagonistic to the learning and the 
memorization “ of the names of the kings of the Unfaithful,” but at the 
same time they could not have failed to see and to comprehend the advan- 
tages of the reign of Amanullah over that of his predecessors. 

The fault of Amanullah lies in the fact that he failed to take into 
account the psychological infancy of his people, and also in his over-con- 
fidence in his own personal authority. Amanullah chose to follow in the 
footsteps of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal, but he forgot that the Turks had been 
for centuries in contact with the cultured world of Europe, and that the 
governing class in Turkey had been long since Europeanized. Amanullah 
forgot also that Turkey knew not the tribal regime, and that she has a 
comparatively well-ordered centralized apparatus of power, such as did not 
and does not exist in Afghanistan. Turkey possessed — and Mustafa 
Kemal in particular — a real army subordinate to a united State authority ; an 
army which under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal had created contem- 
porary Republican Turkey, an army that was loyal and devoted to its 
leader. Nothing of the kind existed in Afghanistan. 

Contemporary Turkey accepted as a matter of fact the abolition of the 
Khilafat and the Sultanate. . . . Amanullah, anxious to modernize his 
country, chose to follow the path of Kemal Pasha without possessing any 
of the data (excepting his ardent desire and personal enthusiasm) which 
enabled Kemal to carry out a complete revolution. These lessons of 
Amanullah, Nadir Khan has learnt well enough. He will, of course, 
continue the work of modernizing the Afghans begun by Amanullah, but 
he will not leave out of sight the peculiarities of the country and the people. 

Nadir Khan will not run after the European fashions either for men or 
for women. After he has healed the wounds received by the country as a 
result of the civil war, he will direct all his energy to the improvement of 
the Government and of the central apparatus. I do not doubt that Nadir 
Khan will take steps to convert the separate tribes into a united state- 
nation, but this work will take many years to complete. He understands 
fully well that the really constructive State work can be undertaken only after 
and through the creation of a unified central authority. It will be remem- 
bered how Nadir Khan disapproved of the measures of Amanullah’s govern- 
ment during the rising in Khost (1924). He voiced his disapproval, not 
because he sympathized with the insurgents, but on account of the fact that 
the unregulated system of administration was the real cause of the trouble. 

There is yet one department in which the government of Nadir Khan 
will differ from that of Amanullah, and that is the Department of Foreign 
Affairs. .A.s far as it is possible to judge from the scanty news which is at 
present coming from Afghanistan, Nadir Khan will guide himself differently. 
The present state of affairs in Afghanistan would suggest the necessity for 
caution in the choice by the Head of the State of the object of his external 

According to the Soviet official Press, Afghanistan can only become 
completely free and independent if English Imperialism is crushed. That 
is why the Bolsheviks so forcefully invited Amanullah and the Afghan 
peasantry to begiii to fight England, and to turn the internal civil war into 
a war against British Imperialism. us hope that this appeal will not 
take root in Afghanistan, and that the new head of Afghanistan will be able 
to find the right means of regenerating his country. 


SINCE 1828 

By Arshak Safrastian 

[Introductory. — The author of this article, who was born at Van, 
was before the war attached to the British Consular Service in Turkey. 
He served with both the Russian and British forces during the war, and 
was subsequently one of the Armenian delegates to the Peace Conference. 
He has lectured on Armenia and Kurdistan before many learned bodies, 
including the Oxford International Congress of Orientalists, and he is 
the author of sections dealing with his country in the last issue of the 
Encyclopadia Bntannica.\ 

“ Yesterday we were an ecclesiastical community, tomorrow we shall be 
a nation of workers and thinkers.” — Grigor Artzhttni, in 1872. 

Looking at the economic and social conditions of the Armenian people 
in 1872, Artzruni, one of the thoughtful Armenian writers of that time, 
was probably as much right in his anticipations as he was true in his 
characterization of the past. The general prospects of the Armenian 
people at the time, both in Russia and Turkey, were satisfactory and full 
of promise. Since the occupation of the Ararat Plain, and most of the 
north-eastern corner of old Armenia in 1828, Russia had opened up 
great possibilities for progress. A comparative order of law and 
stability in the past half-century (1828 onwards) had given an impetus 
to economic and moral development the value of which no impartial 
student could overlook. For several centuries all the Caucasian peoples, 
including the Tatar Khanates and the mountain tribes, had been distracted 
by the Turco-Persian antagonism and the consequent anarchy ; whereas 
since the beginning of the nineteenth century a mighty Western power had 
settled down south of the Caucasus chain, and established the rule of the 
written law and uniformity of administration. It cannot be denied that, 
except for some mountain chiefs, all the peoples of the Caucasus welcomed 
Russia at the time ; particularly the Georgians and the Armenians helped 
Russia in conquering Transcaucasia, although a few among them who 
had known Germany and France received the new regime not without 

It is a historical truism that nowhere new political conditions affect 
more the outlook of a people or of its thinkers than in frontier regions of 
conflicting social systems. In regions like these, changes of political 
order impose themselves very forcibly upon the daily life of the people 
and on the minds of thinkers, and slowly dictate the outlook and ways 
of literary expression of the people concerned. 

These many-sided reactions to the Russian occupation of Armenia 
find their full expression in Khachatoor Abovian (1804-1848), the first 
Armenian writer in a modern sense who, apart from the problem of 
language (with which I shall deal below), was the true portrayer of the 
sharp contrasts of his time. Abovian was born in Kanaker, a large 
village near Erivan (the capital of Soviet Armenia todav), under the 
Persian rule, which, during the chaos preceding and following the 
establishment of the Kajar dynasty, was at its w'orst at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century. He had witnessed the scenes of that anarchy, 
and in his classical work. “ The Scourges of Armenia,” he gave a vivid 
picture of the Persian rule. He was a young man of twenty-four when 

332 Armenian Thotight and Literature since 1828 

the Russians occupied his birthplace in 1828. The joy of the “ Christian 
rule,” however, did not last very long. Disappointment set in when the 
Russians tried to impose their system of land tenure upon the Armenian 
and Tatar peasantry. Serfdom in its proper sense had never existed in 
the lands owned by the noblemen of those two peoples, as it had existed 
in Europe and in Georgia during the period of feudalism. The Russian 
system tended towards the legal enslavement of the peasantry of the old 
Persian Khanates, who under the old customary laws had been treated 
fairly and honourably. In veiled literary form Abovian described the 
injustices of the new regime, and where the status of the peasantry was 
concerned he did not discover any social improvement. But the Russian 
censor detected “revolutionary tendency” in Abovian 's writings. He 
Avas kidnapped by unknown persons in 1848, and he has never been heard 
of since. 

As the first Avriter on social problems, Abovian occupies a primary 
position in modern Armenian literature. The moment the Bolshevik 
Armenians came to pOA\-er, in 1920, they placed Abovian’s name on the 
main street in Erivan. 

For a long time, hoAveA’er, Abovian remained as a symbol. The entire 
Armenian people, both in Russia and in Turkey, remained mainlv an 
ecclesiastical community. The written language in use up to 1850 Avas 
still the old classical language, the grabar, in which were written and 
preserved all the Armenian classics from the fifth century onAvards. The 
all-powerful clergy and the noblemen Avho governed the people spiritually 
were the jealous guardians of the old language. Learning and scholar- 
ship, if any, Avere confined to them, and they monopolized the privileges 
of leadership and political representation vis-a-vis the ruling poAvers. 
They administered the convents, churches, and other national institutions 
as they chose. 

The Catholicos of Echmiadzin (Transcaucasia), the spiritual head of all 
Armenians, and the Patriarch at Constantinople, held respectively high 
positions in regard to the Tsars of Russia and the Sultans of Turkey. 
They both held an unusual latitude of poAver vis-a-vis the sovereign 
States. They both held, particularly the Patriarch in Constantinople, 
poAver of life and death over their flock. Supported by an old hereditary 
nobility Avhich Avere recognized by the authorities of both States, and a 
neAV bourgeoisie Avho had made fortunes in Russia and Turkey- — these tAvo 
ecclesiastical heads of the nation Avould not tolerate any interference from 
the people in the administration of communal affairs, although after the 
proclamation of reforms by Sultan Mahmud in 1839 the Armenian 
professional corporations (esnaf) in the Ottoman capital, as the result of 
a long .struggle Avith the clergy and the grandees (Amira). succeeded in 
acquiring in the forties some representation on the church and lay councils 
of the Patriarch. 

Small concessions like the above produced little change in the state of 
affairs until the end of the Crimean War (1856). The revolutionary 
moA'ement in 1848 in most European countries and the triumph of 
Liberalism in the West occasioned the first rumblings of spiritual rebellion 
among the Armenians in Constantinople and to a lesser extent in the 
Caucasian centres. The Crimean War, Avhich soon followed, resulted in 
the second reform charter issued by the Sultan of Turkev. The sup- 
pression of serfdom by Tsar Alexander 11 . in 1862 folloAved a fcAv vears 
later. The cumulative effect of these events succeeding each other at short 
intervals aroused great enthusiasm among the Armenian leaders on both 
sides of the frontier. The modernizing movement assumed such an 
irresistible character that the churches and nobilitv together Avere over- 
whelmed by the demands of the younger generation. Young men from 
the Caucasus had been studying in Russian and German UniA'ersities ; 

Armenian Thought and Literature since 1828 333 

many others from Constantinople and the Levant had been to France and 
England. On their return home they strongly advocated the cause of 
enlightenment and national regeneration. 

A glance at the general conditions of the Armenian people in the fifties 
of last century will demonstrate the main lines of division. The Church, 
all-powerful and patronized by Turkey and Russia, fostered only an 
ecclesiastical spirit, an ascetic and strict rule of life in disparagement of 
all secular tendencies and moral weaknesses. Its favourite school-books 
were the Scriptures, highly mystical Armenian homilies like “ Naregh ” 
(tenth century) and patriotic histories like “ Yeghishe Vardapet ” of the 
fifth century, the main teaching of which, at least as the bishops and 
priests made it out, was self-sacrifice in the cause of the National Church 
and the next life. They invariably used the big stick in order to keep 
their faithful straight. As to the language, the Churchmen considered 
as a sacrilege the use of the colloquial dialect of the people as a medium 
of teaching or literature, and imposed the classical grabar as a divine 
boon — “ the language in which Adam had courted Eve.” 

On the other hand, there were middle-aged men who had studied at the 
European Universities and had seen something of the Western countries. 
They were out for modern education and ” democracy,” for the 
secularization of national institutions, for the teaching of the natural and 
physical sciences, for the abandonment of the classical language, and 
finally for the management of the people’s affairs through mixed cormcils 
of elected clergy and laymen. Some intellectuals went as far as to 
suggest furtively that in the “ enlightened ” nineteenth century the clergy 
literally still clung to the old bad traditions, such as the plaintive tone of 
their writings and sermons ; that the ecclesiastical historians were still 
inclined to detect the finger of Providence in the ordinary misfortunes 
common to all other nations ; and that it was a silly mistake to ascribe 
more sins to the Armenian nation than it had been guilty of. The 
modernizing movement went ahead in scope and in volume with increasing 
force. The intellectuals carried the day in i860. They introduced a 
radical change in the curriculum of the primary schools. The colloquial 
language was substituted for the classical as a medium of education ; and 
the Church party, with its back to the wall, was almost compelled to 
patronize the drafting of a ” democratic constitution ” which the Patriarch 
submitted to the Ottoman Porte for ratification. To the amazement of 
any political student, the Ottoman Government, in fact, ratified it in 
1863 as the Statut Organiqve of the .Armenian millet in Turkey. 

On the Caucasian side, the Armenian modernizing movement followed 
a slower but surer course, owing, as it may easily be understood, to the 
bureaucratic regime of the Tsars. Yet the modern phase of Armenian 
literature began almost simultaneously in the sixties on both sides of the 
frontier. And so when Grigor Artzruni, founding his great daily news- 
paper Mschak (Labourer) in 1872 in Tiflis (Georgia), pronounced his 
dictum as set out at the head of this article, the Armenian people had 
just emerged, at least technically, from its ecclesiastical stage, and w'as 
entering on its course of “enlightenment” and the learning of the 
elements of Western civilization. In real fact, the general outlook of 
the masses of the people had undergone very little, if any, mental change. 
The reforms from above did not disturb to any degree the placid and 
■static tranquillity of the Armenian peasantry on toth sides of the frontier. 
From time immemorial and with very small variations, the peasantry 
has formed ninety per cent, of the Armenian people, just as it does today 
in the Soviet Republic of Erivan. 

Since the loss of political power in Armenia proper, and owing to 
circumstances beyond control, the intellectual centres of the Armenian 
people had flourished outside that country. The Mekhitarist Fathers 

334 Armenian Thought and Literature since 1828 

revived the old Armenian culture in Venice, and, later on, in Vienna. 
The Armenian colonists in India had established their churches and schools 
and a newspaper in Calcutta or Madras. In recent times Armenian 
writers and thinkers were concentrated in Moscow, Tiflis, or Baku ; those 
in Turkey had their centres in Constantinople or Smyrna, all lying a 
long way off from the main body of the peasantry. This fact of social 
displacement gave an appearance of unreality to most progressive move- 
ments. which seemed flourishing in international centres. The revival 
was real and beneficial where the study and the publication of the 
Armenian classics were concerned, such as the great work done by 
Mekhitarist congregations in Venice and Vienna ; it was instructive and 
inspiring, where the themes of literature were taken from the actual life 
of the people ; otherwise it was deleterious and dangerous, as experience 
has proved since. These general tendencies were fully combined in 
Mikael Nalbandian (1830-1867), a strong character who left a deep mark 
on the thought of the Armenians in Russia. Born at Nor- Nakhichevan 
(near Rostov), Nalbandian as a boy passed through the local church 
school, like all Armenian schoolboys up to yesterday ; became a chorist, 
read classics and psalms. At the age of discretion he revolted against 
the order of society then prevailing among his people. In his con- 
tributions to Husisabail, an influential monthly published in Moscow 
by S. Nazarian, another reformer of the period, Nalbandian described 
the utter “ ignorance” in which the Armenian people were floundering. 
He carried on a substantial campaign with a view to the secularization of 
education and its liberation from the influences of the clergy. He 
advocated the teaching of modern Armenian, the translation of the 
classics and of the Bible into that dialect, and the education and liberty 
of women, and he fought the narrow nationalism of the Armenian leaders. 
In his chief work, entitled “ Agriculture,” he condensed his fundamental 
thought. In it he pilloried in severe terms the inclinations of his genera- 
tion towards trading and State service and extolled the social virtues and 
national advantages of agriculture, which should form the basis of an 
Armenian renaissance. During a visit to Western Europe, Nalbandian 
came in contact with Herzen, Bakunin, and other Russian political 
fugitives. On his return home, owing probably to these interviews, he 
was arrested bv the Russian police and thrown into prison, in consequence 
of which he died prematurely. 

A stronger appeal to revolt against the old order was made by the very 
popular poet Raphael Patkanian {nom de flume Kamar-Katiba) (1830- 
1829), one of the originators of modern Armenian verse. He wrote 
beautifully and voluminously. Some of his songs and epigrams made a 
profound impression among his readers, and are still popular today. As 
may well be expected, his ideals were revolutionary and his motives 
confused. In one place he would exhort the Armenian bourgeois to sell 
their Russian decorations and buy powder and bullets with the proceeds ; 
in another line he would advise the Armenian women to renounce every- 
thing ” Frank ” and enlist in the cause of national liberation. He was 
essentially anti-European and suspicious of everything European, and yet 
he did not propound any di.stinct idea or plan, except “ to break the 
silence against the enemy. ” He left it to the reader to deduce for himself 
as to who ” the enemy ” was. 

A more systematic literary .school was created in Con.stantinople in the 
sixties. Two good writers produced real literary work in modern dialect. 
Beshiktashlian (1827-1868) wrote several plays," taking his subjects from 
the old Armenian kings and their achievements. His dramas were freely 
staged in Turkey up to recent times, and naturally roused intense patriotic 
enthusiasm. Beshiktashlian was a Catholic Armenian. As a popular 
poet, he wrote a song which promoted a great improvement in the relations 

Armenian Thought and Literature since 1828 335 

of the two sections of the Armenian people in those days. Bedros Tourian 
(1852-1872), a poet of considerable spontaneity, died too young. There 
are striking resemblances between Tourian and Shelley, both in their 
ways of writing and modes of life. 

In the collective life of an ancient people like the Armenians, the 
mentality and the trend of thought are unavoidably and closely bound up 
with the politics of the day. But they were not really a political people or 
Dolitically minded. On the contrary, had they been sufficiently political, 
they would not have been in the position in which they find themselves 
today. From this angle of vision it is easy to imagine the deep impression 
which the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8, and its political consequences, 
made upon the mind of Armenian leaders. Serbs and Bulgars rose, and 
Russia intervened on their behalf and liberated them. The Six Powers 
of Europe had introduced an Armenian Clause in the Treaty of Berlin. 
England had undertaken to carry out reforms in Armenia. Then all 
that remained for the Armenian people to do was to educate itself and 
be ready for the coming day. In fact, an intense effort for national 
education was organized throughout the breadth and width of the Ottoman 
Empire j gymnastics and games being items in the school curricula. The 
effort was particularly concentrated on the “ backward ” provinces in the 
East, which wdth a strange fate coincided with the “ Six Vilayets” of 
the Berlin Treaty. Armenian thinkers in the Caucasus also turned their 
eyes more than ever to the ” Homeland ” in Turkey, because Russia was 
too mighty to permit of a revival of Armenia within the frontiers of the 

On an intellectual terrain of this nature began the most recent period 
of Armenian literature. The foremost figure of the period was Raffi 
(1833-1888) — his real name was Melik-Hagopian, a prolific writer, a 
novelist in the Western sense. Raffi was born in an Armenian village in 
Persian Azerbaijan, but was educated in the Caucasus. The narrative 
style by which Raffi idolized his heroic figures of old and new, his keen 
psychological analysis of his heroes, and his fluent and rich language, 
possessed such a charm that he captured the youth of his generation. The 
heroes of his novels, such as ” The Fool,” ” Sparks,” ” The Five 
Melikates ” (the last dealing with the struggle for independence of the 
Armenian chiefs of Karab.igh during 1721-1728), became the inspiration 
of Armenian secret societies during the eighties and the nineties of last 
century. Raffi wrote in the idiom of the Eastern Armenians, w'hich 
differs from the Western in declensions and conjugations alone ; but his 
novels were devoured equally on both sides of the frontier. Probably he 
never used any weapon in his life. His novels, however, w'Orked a 
revolution in the outlook of his readers, and his art practically forced 
weapons into the hands of young men. 

Not less productive, but less influential, was Dzerents (1838-1891) 
from the Caucasus, who by his historical novels and graphic descriptions 
of Armenian princes, their family life, their castles and wars in the 
Middle Ages, gave new consciousness to the youth, 

Berj Proshian (1837-1907) described Armenian rural life and the 
labour of peasants in native literary form, and several other poets, 
novelists, and rhymsters produced literature in prose and verse charac- 
teristic of the period, with a distinct motive of Nationalism. 

In the meantime historical criticism and philology made unusual pro- 
gress. Armenian students in Western Universities, instructed by well- 
known European scholars, brought to light new information on the past 
history, the language, and the classics of Armenia. 

In Turkey the development of Armenian literature took an altogether 
different shape. The Levant had been for a long time past under the 
cultural influence of F ranee, which, amalgamating itself with the remnants 

336 Armenian Thought and Literature since 1828 

of the old Byzantine civilization, created an atmosphere uncongenial to 
the growth of national types. A good deal of historical criticism, and 
studies of national folklore, were produced bv Armenian literary men in 
Constantinople and Smyrna. But their main literary effort was based on 
journalism and the translation of foreign authors. To the misfortune of 
the Armenian youth in the Levant, that influence proved misleading and 
dangerous. A number of able literary men — Mateos Mamourian (1830- 
1901), Mesrob Nubarian (1842-1929), and some others — translated into 
Armenian a large number of French romantic novelists, such as Victor 
Hugo, the two Dumas, F.ugene Sue, and others. The average Armenian 
reader of those translations in the eighties, intent to advance on the path 
of ■' Europeanization,” could not possibly avoid the impression that every 
Frenchman or European was a Chevalier Bayard sans peur et sans 
reproche ready to serve anv and every human cause for the sake of 

The Armenian people in Asia Minor remained almost totally unaffected 
by these influences penetrating through the Levant. The literature of the 
other w’riters mentioned above, which had a distinct national indiv’iduality. 
strongly appealed to them and stirred their soul, but foreign types and 
names conveyed to them very little sense. I may be forgiven if I mention 
my personal experience because it is typical of Armenians, particularly in 
Eastern Anatolia and even in out-of-the-way districts in Transcaucasia. 
As a small schoolboy, in the middle nineties, we were instructed by our 
parents and priests to beware of any man or woman who wore a shapka 
(European hat). As schoolboys we expressed our sentiments by throwing 
stones or rotten fruit at any person with a hat, who rarely happened to 
pass in the streets. The Turkish authorities encouraged us in this stone- 
throwing. But when these European literary influences and, soon after- 
wards, political disturbances permeated the mind of the youth, the 
Armenians ceased throwing stones at the Europeans and began shooting 
at the Turks. It is a subject of great psychological interest as to how a 
staunchly conservative people like the Armenians may be detached from 
their old solid moorings through very subtle influences, of the nature of 
which they had no practical experience of any kind. 

In the current century Armenian literature did not find any scope for 
development. Political restrictions both in Russia and Turkey made any 
expansion of national thought impossible. There have been, and there 
are today, poets and writers, many of them now living outside these two 

The prediction of Grigor Artzruni has been fulfilled, although at a 
fearful cost of blood and treasure. The Soviet Republic of Armenia 
has, in fact, become a “ nation of workers and thinkers.” Machinery, 
workshops, cotton-mills, and hydro-electric power stations are being 
worked by that nation. The prospects are not unpromising from an 
economic standpoint. But the thinking of the nation is not and cannot 
be characterized as yet, except that the young poet, Yeghishe Charents, 
who may be called the national poet of Armenia, or preferably ” the poet 
of the Armenian proletariat,” has been writing songs and poems to the 
glory of Nairi* people, the Nairi lands, and everything found in the 
Nairi country. 

* The Assyrian royal records in cuneiform mention the Nairi lands as 
lying north and north-west of Assyria. Yeghishe Charents means the 
Armenian Republic by the term Nairi lands. 




The Asian Circle is conducted by a group with personal 
knowledge of the various parts of Asia, and through the 
collective experiences of its members aims at giving to the 
public an informed, progressive, and disinterested view of 
Asian affairs, both in detail and as a whole. 

It is understood that where articles are signed in this 
section they do not necessarily represent the views of 
members of the Circle other than the writer. 


By Lieut.-Colonel H. St.Clair Smallwood 

(Aeronautical Adviser to Chinese Government, 191 9 -1921 ; Senior Partner 
H. St.Clair 'Smallwood and Co., Peking, Agents for various large 
British firms, 1922-1929 ; Daily Telegraph Correspondent 1925-1929 ; 
Special Correspondent 1926-1927; Hon. Aeronautical Adviser to 
Chinese Government, 1922-1927.) 

The present unemployment situation demands that every 
thinking man search his brains for a solution. Markets, 
markets and more markets is the cry of the manufacturer. 
More markets mean less unemployed — this seems to be a 
self-evident fact. Every British-manufactured split-pin, 
every inch of fabric from the looms of Lancashire or the 
mills of Bradford, means employment for somebody. 
Having granted the desirability of, nay, necessity for, 
increased markets, let us turn to China ; here are more 
than four hundred and fifty millions of people ; what can we 
produce which will appeal to this enormous potential 

Before considering China as a market, however, let us 
glance for a moment at China’s present situation. This 
unwieldy country is struggling to emerge from a condition 
of misrule and lack of government the like of which the 
world has seldom seen before. Since the passing away of 


338 The Effect China might have in Helping to 

the Imperial regime leader after leader has arisen, only to 
be speedily brought down by overweening ambition, by 
equally ambitious rivals, or even by his quondam friends. 
Each military leader feels the insecurity of his tenure and 
collects as much as he possibly can in taxes of all sorts. Arms 
must be purchased, and cash paid for them, in order to equip 
these armies. Arsenals are built, thousands of rifles turned 
out, and millions of rounds of small-arm ammunition. W ork 
goes on at fever-heat, but is the work productive ? Most 
emphatically. No! Not only is the well-known industry of 
the Chinese wasted in non-productive work, but instruments 
of war are made which are destined to destroy and to be 
destroyed. Revenue-producing departments are crippled 
owing to military interference. Before a tuchun decides to 
attack his neighbour, what does he do ? He seizes the 
nearest railway for the transportation of his troops, guns 
and supplies. The railway ceases to earn anything. 
Rolling stock is damaged and locomotives are injured by 
incompetent military drivers. The all-steel Blue Train, 
delivered a few years ago from America and looked upon 
as the last word in passenger rolling-stock equipment, be- 
came the barracks for unemployed soldiery After these 
particular operations were over blue coaches were to be seen 
parked on sidings, with windows broken to allow incongruous 
stove-pipes to thrust themselves into the open air. This 
train, by the way, is, I believe, still unpaid for. 

Apart from the earning power of the railway being im- 
paired, sleepers are pulled up for firewood, rails are removed, 
the permanent way is damaged, and after a few months of 
such treatment the railway is rendered nearly derelict and 
its capital value seriously reduced. 

Our tuchun practically commandeers the telegraph line ; 
commercial and other messages are subject to delay and 
non-delivery. The posts only struggle along, and much to 
their credit postal-runners with their mail-bags make their 
way through the lines of hostile armies, taking their lives 
in their hands. Every form of conveyance, every draught 
animal is seized throughout the countryside. Farmers with 
their carts and mules or ponies are pressed into service 
without hope of pay or compensation. 

While the British merchant in China suffers in pocket, 
the physical and financial suffering experienced by the 
Chinese people themselves is little realized by the resident 
in England. Taxation has reached heights as yet undreamt 
of in more settled countries. In one province in North 
China it was estimated a short time ago that taxes on 

Solve the Unemployment Question in Britain 339 

twenty tons of necessities exceeded eight thousand dollars 
(i.e.^ about ;^33 a ton). The transport charges on one picul 
(133I lbs.) of wool amounted to more than twice its value, 
and other commodities pay two dollars for the transportation 
of one dollar’s worth of goods. On one railway line costs 
of transportation, including all local taxes, have gone up 
eight hundred per cent, in three years. What is the result ? 
Goods cannot stand the cost of transportation, railway 
receipts diminish, and transport goes “back to the barrow.” 
The Chinese press paints a gloomy picture of life in China 
today — for the Chinese, be it understood. Bitter complaints 
are voiced of new recruiting offices being opened, of the 
Government raising new divisions in direct conflict with 
Government-fathered Disbandment Conferences. Peking 
is described as resembling “a ruined mansion in the last 
stages of decay.” The desperate plight of Canton and 
Hankow “can be seen at a glance.” Tientsin’s wealth is 
“centred in the concessions,” and Shanghai’s brilliance is 
“ only on the surface.” Brigandage, floods, famine, civil 
war, crushing taxation and forced loans are only a few of 
the disabilities under which the Chinese people are labouring. 

One of the inevitable results of these years of misgovern- 
ment and provincial strife has been a drop in China’s credit 
abroad. She now finds it impossible to borrow in the 
markets of the world except at ruinous rates of interest. 
International financiers point to the unpaid railway and 
other loans, and until China puts her financial house in 
order and funds her loans she will find the money-bags of 
the outside world strung tight against her. One of China’s 
most vital needs is undoubtedly improved communications. 
But where is the money to come from to build the roads 
and railways she requires ? She cannot raise it internally, 
and her foreign credit is not sufficiently good to enable her 
to raise it abroad. This lack of money undoubtedly holds 
her back, and lacking the funds to institute productive works 
her purchasing power remains stationary. This undoubtedly 
reacts adversely on the trade we wish to do with her. 

Since the Nationalist Government has been in power in 
Nanking (May, 1927) she has raised some four hundred 
million dollars in the form of domestic loans. The 
service of these loans has been promptly met, but this has, 
to a certain extent, still further damaged her foreign credit, 
as foreign loans of earlier date are allowed to go into default, 
while these more recent loans are promptly paid, both as 
regards interest and principal. 

That is the dark side of China today ; possibly the efforts 

340 The Effect China might have in Helping to 

of the Nationalist party may, in years to come, evolve a 
satisfactory form of Government which will govern, not a 
few provinces adjacent to the seat of government, but the 
whole country. 

During the last six thousand years of China’s history she 
has been torn by some form of internecine strife for four 
thousand, and it is obvious that trade and business has not 
been standing still during all that time. 

In comparatively recent times large British concerns have 
become established, princely merchant houses which have 
had a large share of China’s trade and shipping, but more 
must be done in developing our trade in China for manu- 
factured goods before we can expect any effect on our own 
unemployment problem. Two of the largest concerns in 
China today are British in character and registration, but 
one distributes American tobacco and the other Dutch oil, 
neither of which commodities can be said to employ many 
people in England, except of the administrative class. 

To understand China’s needs one should refer to Sir 
Harry Fox’s recent able report on economic conditions in 
China. Great Britain’s share of China’s import trade of 
about twelve hundred million taels is only about one hundred 
and thirteen million, or rather less than lo per cent., and it 
is in increasing this percentage that the hope for bettering 
unemployment in Britain lies. China imports in foodstuffs 
more than double the total value of Britain’s exports to 
China ; some two hundred million taels’ worth of her imports 
therefore can be of little assistance to our manufacturers — in 
fact, one has to take five hundred million taels as roughly the 
value of China’s imports of manufactured goods, and it is 
this figure which we have to attack, as this may be said to 
be the figure which directly affects our problem of unem- 

To the uninitiated it seems rather amazing that consider- 
ing the disturbed condition of China generally any trade can 
be carried on at all, but the fact remains patent that trade 
does exist, and that in increasing volume. A reference to 
the published customs returns confirms this. While acknow- 
ledging that trade is increasing, the contention that it might 
increase faster is a reasonable one, and therein our hope lies. 

The Chinese is essentially a trader, and though he may 
be hampered by grinding taxation, bullied by marauding 
armies, and the product of his cultivation diverted to the 
support of a predatory soldiery, he still strives on and 
endeavours to come out on the right side in the struggle for 
existence. The merchant’s fears of capital levies and of 

Solve the Unemployment Question in Britain 341 

the kidnapping of his children may cause him to hide his 
wealth, but the wealth is there, as Chinese balances in 
foreign banks show, and as it is more widely distributed so 
we may hope that the purchasing power for British goods 
will increase. This increase is, of course, limited by the fact 
that payment for the necessities of existence account for 
most (jf the spending power of the peasant classes. The 
margin between existence and starvation is a narrow one, 
and few of the people on the land have any spare money to 
spend on manufactured articles, which is what we particu- 
larly want to sell them. Success has crowned the efforts of 
the large tobacco companies, and it is on the lines of taking 
our goods into the interior direct to the markets of the 
consumer that success would appear to lie. The difficulties 
are enormous — difficulties of transport, of trading in the 
interior, of unexpected internal provincial taxation, of op- 
position from Chinese traders, and of boycotts organized for 
political purposes ; but by giving the Chinese trader a share 
in successful sales these difficulties will in time be overcome. 

What are the essentials for improved trade in China } 
(l) Good government — or I would rather say any form of 
government which governs. (2) Improved communications, 
which would automatically follow good government. (3) A 
settled tariff. (4) Improved selling organization. One, 
two, and three, are unfortunately outside our control, and 
we have to evolve a form of selling organization which is 
effective in spite of bad government or lack of government. 
One, two, and three are in the hands of the Chinese, but 
“ in the hands of the Chinese ” does not mean in the hands 
of the Chinese Government. I believe that the Nationalist 
Government would be deliriously glad to see the abolition 
of likin and of other forms of internal provincial taxation, 
but though likin has been abolished by word of mouth on 
several occasions, it is still an ever-present evil. The 
Tuchun has to maintain his province. He gets little or no 
assistance from the Central Government, so he institutes 
his own taxes. 

It appears, therefore, that studying China markets and 
improved selling organization are the only means we have 
whereby we can help ourselves. Improved selling means 
learning the language, studying the wants of the Chinese, 
and making friends with a race who are by no means dis- 
posed for friendship. The British manufacturer has been 
criticized for not having paid sufficient attention to the 
Chinese market, and the criticism is to a certain extent 
justified. The manufacturer is inclined to pay most atten- 

342 The Effect China might have in Helping to 

tion to those markets which send him the largest orders, 
quite naturally ; but in the case of China it must be borne 
in mind that though she may not be purchasing much 
at the moment, her purchasing potentiality is enormous- 
At present each Chinese spends less than a penny a year 
on British manufactured articles. Surely that sum can be 
increased by better selling methods. I agree that this is 
starting at the wrong end, and that the basic difficulty is 
one of Government, but here we are powerless. China 
has to work out her own salvation. 

From China’s exports we cannot hope to improve unem- 
ployment conditions on any appreciable scale. We pur- 
chase our share of hides, skins, egg products, furs, bristles, 
silk, tea, etc., but the purchase of these commodities does 
not help our factories to any large degree. 

After many years’ residence in China and much travel 
from Canton to Outer Mongolia I am convinced that 
Manchuria holds out the greatest hope for increased trade 
in manufactured goods. Here we have mines (coal, iron, 
and gold), agriculture, and a comparatively settled country 
in which to trade. Manchuria’s imports consist largely of 
iron and steel manufactured articles, machinery, cotton and 
woollen piece goods, and vehicles, of all of which we should 
be able to secure our share. In point of fact, Manchuria’s 
total imports in 1928 exceeded twenty-six million pounds 
sterling, and our share was less than one million. Granted 
that Japan has a special position here, but they are com- 
mitted to the policy of the “open door.” It may be that 
the door is a little wider open to Japanese goods than 
to others, but with the door only slightly ajar we ought to 
be able to push more goods through it. Our trade will go 
on, and let us hope increase in the south ; but here in 
Manchuria one feels that the earth is going through a new 
awakening, of which we should not be slow to take advan- 
tage. The soil is virgin and fruitful, soya-bean cultivation 
is increasing by leaps and bounds. Railways are creeping 
over the land ; population of an industrious kind is pouring 
into the country year after year, in ever-increasing num- 
bers, from the famine-stricken, war-torn provinces further 
south. “ Manchuria, the Land of Promise,” is the slogan, 
and land of promise it certainly is. Here we see the pro- 
gress resulting on settled conditions and good government. 
The South Manchurian Railway and the railway zone 
administered by the Japanese act as a main artery which 
feeds and nourishes the rest of the country. Small rail- 
ways, Chinese constructed, feed the main line and tap the 

Solve the Unemployment Question in Britain 343 

land farther afield. Here we do not find the local military 
power seizing railways and paralyzing trade. The railway 
remains open and trade moves along it. Here is a field 
for milling machinery, mining machinery, all the demands 
of modern civilization. Here surely is a market for our 
manufactured goods ! 

In Mongolia, too, there are untapped markets. Every 
year the Chinese cultivators on the edge of the Gobi 
Desert reclaim another mile of country, increased popula- 
tion follows, and with it markets. 

It may be freely acknowledged that the problem bristles 
with difficulties ; but where in the world are we not faced 
with keen competition ? We can no longer say, “ This is 
British, therefore best ; buy it !” and think that we have 
reached the apex of perfect salesmanship. We must manu- 
facture to suit our markets. The American motor-car has 
taken possession of the Chinese market, and the owner of 
a British car is faced with difficulty in obtaining spares. 
The manufacturer may say : “ But there are not a sufficient 
number of cars sold to warrant my sending supplies of 
spares.” The answer is that there never will be until an 
adequate supply of spares is on the spot. The standard 
British cars suited to European roads, of low horse-power 
and little clearance, do not appeal to the Chinese, who likes 
to drive his car anywhere and over any sort of obstacle. 

Another difficulty which the merchant has to face is the 
drop in the price of silver, and the consequently low pur- 
chasing power of a currency based on that metal. Every 
fall in silver is a blow to the Chinese purchaser, to the 
British supplier, and particularly to the Chinese Govern- 
ment, which has to meet Chinese indebtedness in gold. 
The more the Government has to pay, the more it must 
squeeze out of the people in taxes, and the less the average 
citizen has to spend. 

The arms embargo, whereby certain countries agreed to 
refrain from exporting arms to China, has recently been 
lifted, and whether its removal is desirable from China’s 
point of view is an open question. It is a matter, however, 
which may affect unemployment. For several years prac- 
tically no British aircraft was sold to China. The sale was 
discouraged as the machines were alleged to be so easily 
converted from commercial aeroplanes to weapons of war. 
The result of this self-denying ordinance was that large 
numbers of French, Italian, and American makes were 
imported. These foreign machines captured the market, 
and when the embargo was removed it was found extremely 

344 China and the Unemployment Question in Britain 

difficult for British machines to oust their well-established 
rivals The same situation existed as to guns, small arms, 
ammunition, and field equipment. The Chinese Ministry of 
the Navy were anxious to buy warships some two years ago, 
but the armament firms’ agents were precluded from selling. 

I think I have said enough on the subject of the diffi- 
culties which face the British merchant, whom one may 
describe as the “agent for employment”; but surely the 
genius of our race to overcome difficulties will come to our 
aid now as heretofore. To keep our people employed we 
must produce manufactured goods. It is no use producing 
the manufactured article unless we can sell it. We cannot 
sell it unless we can persuade the buyer that he must have 
it, and that its cost is within his power to pay. He will 
not be persuaded of these facts until the manufactured 
article is presented to him in an attractive manner. The 
manufacturer must employ an agent who can present his 
goods in the most favourable light. For this he must 
have an agent who knows the Chinese customer and who 
can talk his language. 

Another method of selling our manufactured goods is to 
establish factories in China to deal with the raw material 
produced in the country. The Japanese are following this 
policy to a certain extent, but there are objections to such 
policy. If, for instance, a cotton mill were established up- 
country, it might be the prey of the military leader or 
bandit who was “on top” at the moment. It is doubtful 
whether British capital would be available for the erection 
of such mills unless situated inside concessions. The 
assistance to British unemployment would only come in 
the making of the mill machinery. It therefore appears 
that it is better to foster the selling side of the goods 
manufactured in Britain rather than to make the machinery 
for erection and working in China. 

No royal road to employment exists, I am convinced, 
except the one of supplying what the buyer wants ; this, 
and this only, will keep our factories and mills at work, 
so employing our idle thousands. 

I have kept strictly to the materialistic side of things in 
the foregoing remarks, because I feel the subject under dis- 
cussion calls for a practical, though perhaps selfish, outlook. 

If the Chinese were disposed to allow us to assist them 
with their governmental problems, there is no doubt we 
should be attacking the matter fundamentally and properly, 
but this, since the days of the self-determination of peoples, 
is no longer a matter of practical politics. 


By E. Rosenthal, f.r.g.s. 

The completion of the Kazipet to Balharshah broad gauge 
link of H.E.H. the Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway has 
materialized the project of direct railway transport from 
South to North India, first contemplated over thirty years 
ago. In the chain of Imperial communications, this new 
direct route from Madras to Delhi is of paramount import- 
ance, for it effects an economy of 208 miles and twenty- 
two hours on the journey. The through trains run over 
the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway (M. and S. M.) 
from Madras to Bezwada ; the Nizam’s Guaranteed State 
Railway (N.G.S.R.) from Bezwada to Balharshah and the 
Great Indian Peninsular Railway (G.I.P.) from Balharshah 
to Delhi. The Nagpur to Itarsi link recently constructed 
by the G.I.P. is particularly beautiful, for the line crosses 
the foothills of the Vindhya Mountains, the barrier between 
Northern India and the Deccan or “South Land.” The 
luxury of a through train service from south to north can 
only be justly appreciated by travellers who, before the 
completion of the direct route, spent seventy-one instead of 
forty-nine hours on the Madras to Delhi run, with tedious 
changes and waits at Dhond and Manmad. 

The cost of the 146 miles of line from Kazipet to 
Balharshah was approximately 245 lakhs of rupees or 
^nd the ceremonial opening was performed by 
H.E.H. the Nizam of Hyderabad in December, 1928. 

Close to the eastern frontier of H.E.H. the Nizam’s 
Dominions the Delhi-bound train passes Kondapalli, a one- 
time famous hilltop that has sunk into undeserved oblivion, 
for many were the mediaeval dramas in which Kondapalli 
played lead. Muhammad Bahmani Shah of Bidar (1463-82) 
altered the course of Kondapalli’s career by wresting the 
fortress from the Raja of Orissa. Encouraged by this suc- 
cess, Muhammad raided Kanchi or Conjeevaram, for the 
reports he heard at Kondapalli of the wealth of Con- 
jeevaram s temples stirred in his breast that too-light 
sleeper avarice. So swiftly did Muhammad move south- 
wards from Kondapalli that the Hindu inhabitants of the 
‘ Southern Benares ” were taken unawares, and Muhammad 
was enabled to sack the place with thoroughness worthy of 

346 By Rail Direct front Madras to Delhi 

a better cause. On Kondapalli’s heights, we are haunted 
by visions of Muhammad, intoxicated by success, lending a 
willing ear to the backstairs gossip of sycophants spoiling 
for the ruin of that great minister Mahmud Gawan, whose 
fearless loyalty they regarded as a menace to their own 
double dealing. The historian Firishta informs us that 
after a drinking bout Muhammad resigned his reason to 
fury, and ordered the execution of his faithful adviser. 
With gruesome swiftness, however, Nemesis overtook the 
monarch, for less than a year later Muhammad expired as 
a result of his excesses, agonized by the hallucination that 
Mahmud Gawan was tearing him to pieces. 

In 1531 Sultan Quli Outb Shah of Golconda commenced 
another chapter of Kondapalli’s life-story by seizing the 
mountain stronghold, which was transformed by Abdulla 
Qutb Shah, a descendant of Sultan Quli, into a royal resi- 
dence, sumptuous with terraces, colonnades, and pleasure 
grounds. Abdulla’s structure has withstood time’s on- 
slaught right bravely, and of recent years a portion has 
been transformed into a travellers’ bungalow. To spend a 
night in this ancient castle encircled by virgin jungle, with 
oil lamps arranged along its verandas to scare away such 
uninvited guests as tiger or panther, is a weird experience 
not easily forgotten by even the most steel -nerved 

Six miles east of Kazipet junction, where the new line 
takes off, lies Warangel, once the capital of an important 
Hindu kingdom. In 1309, however, rumours of Warangal’s 
treasures reached the ears of Sultan Ala-ud-Din Khilji of 
Delhi, making that monarch’s eyes water and his fingers 
itch for sight and feel of them, so he dispatched his right- 
hand man, Malik Kafur, to investigate. The rejoicings at 
Delhi, when the trusty general returned with a cavalcade 
of camels bearing precious metals and costly merchandise, 
spelt speedy doom for Warangal’s independence. Less 
than two decades later Warangal kingdom was annexed 
by Sultan Muhammad, the second Tughlak King of Delhi, 
and subsequently became an outpost of the Qutb Shahs of 
Golconda. Warangal’s monuments testify to their maker’s 
artistry, and the ingeniously planned fortifications compen- 
sated to a large extent for the stronghold’s lack of natural 
defences, and its exposed position upon an open plain. 
Near the kernel of the citadel stand four mighty arches 
that recall the majesty of Sanchi’s noted gateways. If the 
size of these Warangal structures be any criterion, the 
temple or palace to which they led must have been colossal, 

By Rail Direct from Madras to Delhi 347 

worthy of a great metropolis and industrial centre where 
were manufactured, according to the thirteenth-century 
tourist Marco Polo, “ the best and most delicate buckrams 
(cotton stuffs) and those of highest price,” such as any 
king and queen might have been proud to wear. Since 
the foundation some fifteen years since of the Hyderabad 
Archaeological Department, attention has focussed on 
Warangal’s monuments, judicious repairs have arrested 
decay, while fragments of exquisite sculpture, which for 
centuries lay disintegrating in field and byway, have been 
collected to form the nucleus of an archaeological museum 
that promises to be of supreme interest. When the 
Mussulman victors of Warangal sought to strengthen the 
defences they wrought havoc amongst shrines and temples, 
utilizing finely chiselled deities to fill breaches in the ram- 
parts, or to provide support for watch-towers. 

Midway between Warang^al and Kazipet, the “ Thousand 
Pillared Temple” of Hanamkonda emerges triumphant 
from the ordeal of comparison with the world-famous 
Hindu sanctuaries farther south. The Hanamkonda 
cathedral, which dates from the year 1162, is dedicated to 
Siva the Creator and Destroyer, the Lord of Life and 
Death. His nandi or sacred bull, from times prehistoric 
the symbol of procreation, is of black basalt, hewn with 
consummate skill, while the entrance to the linga shrine 
is adorned with row upon row of well-carved devadasis. 
These garlands of graceful dancing girls, paying homage 
to Siva Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance, suggest the 
poetry of movement, for their creator has energized the 
stone until every figure appears to be swaying to the 
rhythm of a musical accompaniment. 

Between Goyalwada and Mancherial stations on the 
Kazipet- Balharshah section the line crosses the Godavari ; 
and the railway bridge, the longest in Hyderabad State, con- 
sists of forty-four spans of 80 feet. Despite complications 
and setbacks caused by the deep-well foundations of the 
piers the bridge was completed in the short space of two 
working seasons, and the girders were lowered into position 
by a specially constructed xrane at the record speed of one 
per day. The Godavari is one of India’s holiest rivers, 
and the faithful maintain that every twelfth year Mother 
Ganges herself seeks spiritual refreshment at its source. 
On these occasions pilgrim traffic to the numerous bathing 
ghats on the river banks is 50 or 100 per cent, above 
normal, and the K.-B. line is likely to be well patronized 
by the devout who, in every part of India, gladly avail 

348 By Rati Direct from Madras to Delhi 

themselves of railway facilities. During the construction 
of the Godaveri bridge the Hindu workpeople seized the 
opportunity of purging themselves from sin in the sacred 
stream, and rarely do passengers cross the river without 
witnessing one or more persons engaged in ceremonial 

North of the Godavari the new line enters the Gond 
country, whose rulers stepped into history’s limelight about 
A.D. 1240, when Bhim Ballal Singh assumed the title of 
king. Sirpur station was once the site of a capital which, 
under the rule of the seventh Gond monarch, Dinker 
Singh, developed into a famous literary centre, the resort of 
poets and philosophers. Surja Ballal Singh, a successor 
of Dinkar, was a preux chevalier and soldier-singer who 
distinguished himself at the courts of Delhi, Benares, and 
Lucknow. As a mark of appreciation, his title was altered 
by the ruler of Delhi from ‘‘Ballal Singh” to “Ballal 
Shah.” Hence the name “ Balharshah ” bestowed upon 
the capital founded by Khandkia Ballal Shah (1437-62), 
which is now the headquarters of a large coal-mining area. 
Ballarshah fort, close to the railway station, is picturesquely 
situated on the Warda River, the northern frontier between 
Hyderabad State and British India. It is said to be con- 
nected by a subterranean passage with Chanda citadel, 
several miles distant, another creation of that master- 
builder, Khandkia Ballal Shah. Chanda, the “ Moon 
Town,” bears the imprint of royalty, for its every facet 
is stamped with the Gond rajas’ crest, a heraldic lion 
trampling upon a trumpeting elephant. Chief amongst 
Chanda’s monuments is the “ Achaleswar Temple.” 
Khandkia Ballal Shah owed a particular debt of gratitude 
to Achaleswar, for through the Holy One’s intervention he 
was miraculously cured from a skin disease that had dis- 
figured him for years. Mindful of Achaleswar’s favours, 
the king spared neither time nor expense in erecting, both 
at Chanda and Balharshah, sanctuaries that did honour to 
his patron. They are amongst the finest specimens of 
Gond architecture extant, and rival in dignity and orna- 
mental detail the cenotaph of the great Bir Singh who 
was assassinated in 1672. The same cult of the delicate 
that inspired the marble trellises of Delhi and Agra pro- 
duced the perforated stonework of Bir Singh’s memorial, 
which is further embellished with exquisite bas-reliefs. 

Bhandak, in the vicinity of Balharshah, is believed to be 
superimposed on the ruins of Bhadravati, an ancient 
Buddhist settlement visited in the seventh century a.d. by 

By Rail Direct from Madras to Delhi 



By Rail Direct from Madras to Delhi 

the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang. The district is rich in 
archselogical remains, and a most interesting field for re- 
search. At Bhandak, of recent years, a magnificent Jain 
temple has been erected to house an ancient statue of 
Parasnath discovered in the jungle. The sanctuary attracts 
many devotees, and since the establishment of direct com- 
munication with Southern India a large increase in the 
number of Bhandak’s pilgrims may be expected. 

The progressive policy of the Hyderabad Government 
stimulates the expansion of H.E. H.the Nizam’s Guaranteed 
State Railway, for railway construction gives an immediate 
fillip to commerce and industry. No sooner is the land 
cleared than it is put under cultivation, and a considerable 
acreage served by the K.-B. line is already devoted to the 
growth of cotton, one of the staple products of H.E.H. the 
Nizam’s Dominions, while ginning and pressing factories 
are appearing upon ground which, in the very near past, 
was covered with virgin jungle. 

The opening of the Kazipet to Balharshah line coincided 
with yet another development of the N.G.S. Railway — the 
completion of a metre gauge section from Secunderabad to 
Kurnool and Dronachellam, and the establishment of 
direct train service between Secunderabad and Bangalore. 
Formerly, the journey between these two centres necessi- 
tated a long ddtour via Wadi and Raichur, with changes 
both at Wadi and Guntakal. 

Travellers in Mysore State desirous of visiting 
Hyderabad and the celebrated caves of Ellora and Ajanta 
will much appreciate the facilities afforded by this new line, 
for Aurangabad, the station for the caves, is on the northern 
section of the N.G.S. metre gauge, while a day’s halt at 
Secunderabad suffices for a drive through Hyderabad, 
“ The Great White City,” and an excursion to Golconda, 
the once world-famous diamond mart and home of the 
Koh-i-Nur. This stone, believed to have been discovered 
in the Kistna Valley mines, was presented to the Great 
Mughal Shah Jehan by Mir Jumla when this able minister 
at the court of Golconda embarked upon political specula- 
tion by transferring his allegiance to the throne of Delhi. 
In the seventeenth century Golconda was the Amsterdam 
of Asia, and the magnificent diamonds on sale there lured 
jewel merchants from east and west. The gems have long 
since vanished for the Kistna mines are exhausted, yet 
Golconda’s charm remains, and the grand old fortress, an 
interesting blend of Hindu and Muhammadan architecture, 
rises from the plains like some mammoth liner in dry dock. 

By Rail Direct from Madras to Delhi 


Golconda, there is music in the name and romance in every 
corner of its crumbling halls ! Here some light of the 
harem made merry with her lord and banished from his 
brain the dull care of war and rumours of war ; there some 
gallant warrior fell at his post, for Golconda sustained many 
a siege. So skilfully did masonry supplement the natural 
fortifications, however, that Golconda earned the reputation 
of being impregnable, and in 1687, had not a sentry turned 
traitor and opened the gates to the armies of the Mughal 
Emperor Aurangzeb, the succeeding chapters of the strong- 
hold’s history might have been written very differently. 
The postern through which a handful of picked Mughal 
soldiers effected an entry still exists, so does the “ Door of 
Victory ” through which Aurangzeb made his triumphal 
progress. Until 1724 the kingdom of Golconda remained 
tributary to Delhi. In that year, however, Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
an ancestor of the present Nizam, and one of the most 
gifted politicians of his day, declared his independence and 
made Hyderabad his capital. The tombs of the Qutb 
Shahi kings at Golconda are imposing specimens of 
Mussulman architecture. The mausolea are situated on 
terraces from whence beautiful views are obtained of the 
fort, with glimpses in the background of Hyderabad, the 
new capital, founded in 1589 by the fifth king of Golconda, 
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. Residence and seat of 
Government of H.E.H. the Nizam, Hyderabad is the 
fourth largest city of India. The modern buildings, erected 
during the reign of the present ruler, are no less imposing 
than such famous monuments of the city’s youth as the Char 
Minar or “ Four Minaret Gateway,” and the Mecca and 
the Jami Masjids. The palaces of “ The Great White 
City ” are legion. For the most part they are surrounded 
by high walls that invest them with an air of mystery. 
Should the traveller be so fortunate as to visit Hyderabad 
when it is en fete, he will depart convinced that that oft 
misused description “A City of the Arabian Nights” is 
never more appropriate than when applied to the capital of 
H.E.H. the Nizam. The crowds that throng the streets 
are uniquely picturesque even for India. Scarlet-bearded 
Muhammadans, ash-smeared fakirs^ fair-skinned Persians, 
swarthy Southerners, these are only a few of the sharply con- 
trasting humans who surge around the Char Minar, for the 
complex of a Muhammadan ruler and a Hindu people 
makes of Hyderabad one of the most interesting cosmorama 
in Asia. 

At the time of writing two further branches of the 

352 By Rail Direct from Madras to Delhi 

N.G.S. Railway are nearing completion — a broad gauge 
section from Vikarabad to Bidar, the first sod of which was 
turned in June, 1928, and a metre gauge extension from 
Parbhani to Purli. Bidar, the ancient headquarters of the 
Bahmani Shahi dynasty, is a purposeful city that still re- 
tains the dignity it acquired when a leading metropolis. 
With railway facilities it should attract the attention of 
tourists, for it possesses some of the finest mediaeval buildings 
in Hyderabad State. 

“ Should my heart ache, my remedy is this 
A cup of wife and then I sip of bliss.” 

This motto, associated with Bidar’s founder Ahmad 
Shah Wali Bahmani, sounds the keynote of this creative 
genius. In a.d. 1430 Ahmad Shah transferred the seat of 
government from Gulbarga to his new city, which became 
famous in its golden age as one of the gayest capitals of 
India. The red-hued fort is still cheerful of aspect as though 
warmed by the fire of Ahmad Shah Wall’s enthusiasms, and 
was accounted unassailable by reason of its rock-partitioned 
triple moat. Mahmud Gawan, the martyr of Kondapalli, 
sponsored Bidar College, whose fame attracted scholars 
from every quarter of Asia. The spacious building is 
embellished with Persian tiles which, like those on the 
mosques in Sind, have retained their original brilliancy of 
colouring. The care bestowed by the Hyderabad Archaeo- 
logical Department upon Bidar’s monuments has invested 
the ancient Bahmani capital with a new lease of life that 
will receive stimulus from the advent of the railway. 

Of the 1,200 miles of broad and metre gauge track of the 
N.G.S. Railway, no section is of greater utility to the 
general public than the Kazipet-Balharshah short cut from 
South to North India, and a through express train from 
Mangalore to Peshawar, via Madras and the K.-B. Railway, 
was introduced on April i, 1929. 

The pictures accompanying this article will be found in 
the Illustrated Supplement ; cp. the ninth and tenth pages 



By Sir Arnold Wilson 

[The author remarked in the first part of this article 
(published in the January issue) ; “The road from Ahwaz 
to Isfahan offers such difficult problems alike to railway 
and road engineers, and is of such intrinsic commercial 
importance, that it will perhaps be longer in use exclusively 
as a mule track than any other main road in Persia, and on 
this ground alone deserves a fuller account than the 
exigencies of space will allow to other routes which traverse 
the area dealt with in this volume.”] 

8. Gudar-i~Balutak, or 21/129; Pul-i-Sha' lu, 2,650 feet, 

'j\ hours. 

But we have wandered from our track and we must go 
on our way to Isfahan — diagonally across the Malamir 
plain for 4 miles,* then round a spur and south-south-east 
to miles. Then up the Gardan-i-Sarrak, 2 miles of 
stony but not difficult track, till the summit is reached at 
4,000 feet. This pass is situated on the north-western 
shoulder of the great Kuh-i-Mungasht — a majestic range 
rising to a height of 10,887 feet and composed of massive 
Cretaceous limestone. The transition is very abrupt, from 
the foot-hill type of country hitherto traversed, where the 
geological formations are mostly soft sandstones and con- 
glomerates or gypsum and shales, to mountain country 
proper. The road actually passes over a comparatively 
low saddle, but looking to the south one can see how 
Mungasht rises precipitously from the foothills, presenting 
a magnificent rugged limestone scarp to the west. The 
descent begins along an ancient paved road of great 
cobbles, polished and slippery. It is known as usual as the 

* The writer has good reason to remember this piece of the road. He 
was hastening to Ahwaz from Isfahan, in January, 1911, insufficiently clad, 
having been looted by tribesmen, when he was caught in a violent rain- 
storm just outside Deh Diz and soaked to the skin. A bitter wind came 
on — to have stopped would have been death from cold, the caravan was 
miles behind, the escort had trailed away : he reached the Malamir plain 
after dark, and nearly dead of cold, and spent the night with his horse in 
a byre lying down between two cows. 




The Road to Isfahan 

Jadah-i-Sultani or Jadah-i-Atabeg, but is in all probability 
Kayanian or Sasanian. At 15 miles a refreshing spring, 
the Chashmeh Khatun ; the road here turns south-east to 
Qal'eh Madraseh, the ruined buildings being traditionally 
one of the many rest-houses mentioned by I bn Batutah. 
The road passes through well-wooded country abounding 
in chickan, the French red-legged partridge, and rises to 
3,500 feet at 19 miles along the side of the Kuh-i-Parr, 
a spur of the Mungasht, amongst glorious scenery, crosses 
the Gardan-i-Gachi, and descends steeply to the bridge- 
head at 2 1 miles. There is a caravanserai (built in 1911) 
on the hillside above the bridge, but no certainty of supplies 
or of fuel. The bridge is of the suspension type, and was 
erected by the late Mr. A. B. Taylor, of Lynch Brothers, 
for the Bakhtiari Khans in 1902. The river here is swift, 
and in colour a glassy green when not in flood, 30 yards 
wide, and tolerably deep. On the left bank there is a very 
well-defined old river terrace at about 200 feet above the 
present river level. 

9. Deh Diz, 11/140, 5,000 feet, 5^ hours. 

The road follows the general direction of the valley — 
namely, east-south-east all the way to Deh Diz, crossing the 
Karun at the bridge at 2,500 feet and rising at once to the 
Gardan-i-Gil or Rakkat (2,850 feet) at 3^ miles, passing the 
village of Rakkat (a Dinarani village) at 4 miles and Kirkul 
at 6 miles. The track then rises to the summit of the 
Gardan-i-Kulmut (3,800 feet) and then to the village of the 
same name at 7 miles, Deh Kuhneh 9 miles. At 16 miles 
there is a small tort and a tolerable caravanserai. Behind 
Deh Diz rises the main eastern ridge and the loam-covered, 
oak-studded hills round the village are almost level with its 
middle slopes ; the oaks are larger than on the higher levels, 
and the country has the appearance of an English park. The 
country to the south of the track throughout this day’s 
march is of a highly dissected type, known to geographers 
as “ bad lands ” topography — named after the typical “ Bad 
Lands of Nebraska.” It is formed of soft red sandstones 
and conglomerates of the same age (Miocene to Pliocene) 
as those of the foothills, which were deposited in an isolated 
basin and now remain surrounded on all sides by great 
limestone mountains. 

The Road to Isfahan 


10. Shalit, 14/154, 3,900 feet, 7^ hours. 

The road runs immediately from Deh Diz to a height of 
6,500 feet to the summit of the pass, reached at 2 miles, 
thence through thickly-wooded rolling country, crossing the 
Gardan-i-Ruar at 7^ miles (6,300 feet). After dropping to 
5,700 feet the descent of the formidable Gardan-i-Marwarid 
commences, the track winding down a dip slope of hard 
limestone at an angle of 30°. The descent takes a full 
hour over a stony steep track till Shalil bridge is reached at 
3,400 feet. The suspension bridge is most picturesquely 
situated, especially when viewed during the descent. The 
Ab-i-Bazuft, a tributary of the Karun, flows in a pleasant 
well-wooded narrow valley, but below the bridge it enters 
a gorge. The bridge is actually situated on an old river 
terrace 95 feet above the present level. The river has 
excavated a narrow gorge in the massive limestone, and the 
eastern end of the brido;e rests on an island of rock between 
the present channel and an older one which had become 
blocked with great fallen limestone blocks. Half a mile 
further, 500 feet up, is the caravanserai, where supplies can 
be had at a price, but no village exists. There is snow on the 
Marwarid in winter, but not enough as a rule to stop traffic ; 
when the Kuhgilu raid the road, as has not infrequently 
happened in the past, it is generally between Shalil and 

11. Sark/nm, 14/168, 4,900 feet, 5 hours. 

Up the x^b-i-Shalil to water mills at 3^ miles. At 
5 miles we pass an old graveyard (5,400 feet), situated, as 
are so many burial-grounds, far from the nearest habitation, 
in spots chosen of old by nomads ; uncouth stone lions, 
rudely carved, indicate the grave of chiefs. Some bear on 
their sides crossed swords, gun, spear, or powder-flask, to 
indicate the prowess of the departed ; other tombstones 
show by conventional sign the sex, and, more rarely, the 
name and family of the departed. A woman’s grave is 
indicated by a double-sided, a man by a single-sided, 
comb ; often the traveller, as he passes a graveyard near a 
village will see a group of women, sometimes beating their 
naked bosoms, but more often weeping quietly and calling 
upon the deceased by name. Convention demands the 
continuance of such mourning ceremonies for at least a year ; 
often they continue much longer. It was at such a graveyard, 
in a remote oak forest in the Mungasht, that I once heard, 
at dead of night, the pitiful wailing of some poor woman at 


The Road to Isfahan 

a grave near by ; she was repeating, not loudly, but in 
pitiful despair, a refrain which I could not catch, raising her 
voice slightly from time to time as she called, as I 
subsequently ascertained, on her husband who had died 
some years before : Ai Haidar — Ai Haidar janam — Ai 
Haidar azizam ” (O Haidar — my own — my dearest). It 
was an hour before her mournful dirge ceased, to be 
merged in the rhjnhmical sloshing sound of churning* last 
night’s milk, which every housewife in the encampment 
seemed to start simultaneously, as if by an agreed signal. 

But we must get back to our road, which runs, from this 
graveyard, through thickly wooded country, to the summit 
of the Laghamgir pass at 8f miles (7,000 feet), whence 
Sarkhun is visible in the valley below, surrounded by rice- 

* The churn, throughout Luristan, consists of a sheepskin, or khik, 
made up of the entire skin of the animal, untanned, with the head and legs 
cut off and the orifices sewn up, leaving only the neck open. This is hung 
over a slow fire of hot ashes, on a wooden tripod, and is swung jerkily 
backwards and forwards to the accompaniment of a droning lullaby by the 
dairymaid seated on the ground alongside. 

{To be continued^) 


By W. a. Graham 

[The author, who has already contributed to the Asiatic Review under 
the name of “ Pyinya,” was in the Burma Civil Service, and proceeded 
later to the Siamese Service.] 

In the cold weather of 1928-29 the members of Sir John 
Simon’s Royal Commission on Indian Affairs were on 
tour in the principal Indian Provinces, collecting local 
evidence, and in due course they visited Burma. There 
they found that, while the Burmese are quite as anxious 
as anybody for a change from a form of government 
they have lately been taught to call cruel and degrading, 
they would rather go on as they are than accept an 
arrangement that may some day place them in a condi- 
tion of subordination to a government of India by Indians. 
In fact, Burmese witnesses spoke, almost to a man, for 
separation of their country from India in any case, while 
only Indian merchants and other foreigners settled in 
Burma advocated its future continuance under the Indian 

That this call for separation made an impression on the 
Commission seems borne out by the fact, duly recorded in 
the English Press, that, after their return to India, some 
time was devoted to hearing Indian politicians advancing 
ostensible reasons why this Burmese nation of fifteen or so 
millions should be denied the exercise of self-determination 
that they claim for themselves as a sacred right. 

One underlying reason for this opposition of views is no 
secret. It protrudes from the recent Report of the Indian 
Committee appointed to co-operate with the Simon Com- 
mission, where the members, after deciding that separation 
is not to be thought of, proceed to state that under the new 
conditions of government for which they hope, each 
Provincial Government will be obliged to pay to the 
Central Government “ such contributions as may be fixed 
by impartial tribunal.” For the fact is that, for many 
years, Burma has been the milch cow of India, and Indian 
politicians have no desire to forego this source of wealth. 

It is, of course, not known what arguments against 
separation Indians have put before the Statutory Com- 
mission, nor is it easy even to guess at them, for in the 

358 Burmese Aspirations 

present administration of Burma Indians have an entirely 
subordinate part, and there seems no particular reason to 
suppose that existing commercial intercourse would suffer 
by the establishment of governments independent of each 
other and both under British suzerainty or protection. 
Apparently there remains little more than the argument 
that the conquest and settlement of Burma were carried 
out from India and with the assistance of Indian troops and 
money, but it is almost inconceivable that Indian politicians 
could so disregard their own situation as to advance rights 
to control based on conquest ! Certainly the land frontier 
of upwards of a thousand miles, where the two countries in 
theory touch, is no argument for unity, for it consists of 
vast stretches of mountains inhabited by Kachin, Naga, 
Lushai, Chin, and other wild tribes hitherto practically 
uncontrolled, and affords no means of intercommunication. 

On the other side there are many and weighty arguments, 
all of which the Statutory Commission has doubtless heard. 
In the first place the Burmese, in racial descent, language, 
and appearance, have nothing in common with the in- 
habitants of India, while their religion, literature, and many 
of their customs, though derived from Indian sources, are 
vastly different from anything found in India today. 
Secondly, there have never, within the last thousand years 
and more, been political dealings between Burmese and 
Indians except such as the British have recently brought 
about by the inclusion of both peoples under their Central 
Government. The connection, in fact, is purely one of 
convenience to the British Government of India, and is 
such that had it appeared desirable during the last half- 
century or so to constitute Burma a Crown Colony or other 
separate entity, the British Government would without 
hesitation have hived it off as they did Ceylon and the 
Straits Settlements. 

In the All India Congress recently held at Lahore, when 
it was decided to work for total severance from the Empire, 
Burma does not appear to have participated actively, and 
similarly, at the rival assembly of the National Liberal 
Federation convened at Madras, where a motion for 
Dominion status was adopted, no Burmese name appears 
in the list of the committee appointed to draft a Constitution. 

In education, general prosperity, and true political con- 
sciousness, the people of Burma as a whole have advanced 
under foreign tuition as far as the people of India, than whom, 
owing to absence of caste prejudice and to the freedom of 
their women, they are socially more united and more 


Burmese Aspirations 

imbued with genuine democratic spirit. Though never 
slaves to bigotry, they have always had a lively sense of 
nationality, an overweening vanity, and an inextinguishable 
belief in their superiority over all other races. They were 
brought to a measure of subjection only by hard knocks 
received from the British, and knocks being no longer in 
fashion, their national spirit, for a time subdued, is now as 
much in evidence as ever it was, and is enhanced by the 
knowledge they have acquired under foreign guidance. 
They yearn for emancipation, but they do not look for it as 
an appanage of an Indian Free State, whether autonomous 
or under British protection. 

What they want is a measure of self-government 
approaching as nearly as possible to Dominion status, 
directly under the Crown without the intermediate Govern- 
ment of India, and certain enthusiasts have, indeed, drawn 
up a Constitution for their country on the lines of some 
already in existence in the Empire. 

The demand of Burma for separation from India is no 
new thing. Starting long before there was any question of 
self-government, it has been pressed with growing eagerness 
for many years, and an incorporated society exists for the 
purpose of orwarding the change, of which most Burmese 
politicians and some Europeans associated with the country 
are members, while many past and present British officials 
are in sympathy with the movement. With the prospect 
of devolution of the powers of government the matter 
assumes a somewhat different and even more urgent aspect, 
and at this juncture it is interesting to note that the 
Governor of the province himself, in the course of a speech 
on a recent public occasion, remarked that, in his opinion, 
Burma could not properly be included in a self-governing 
India except by consent of the Burmese people, a remark 
which, taken in conjunction with the reference by His 
Excellency the Viceroy, at the recent Lucknow Durbar, to 
Britain’s declared purpose of giving India her true place 
amongst the great Dominions, with full membership of the 
British Commonwealth, has the air of an encouragement to 
Burmese hopes. 

On the question how far the Burmese are now fitted to 
govern themselves there is diversity of opinion. Burmese 
politicians and patriots maintain that they are fit, provided 
a certain modicum of power to restrain and a duty to 
protect remains with the British Government for a period 
more or less extended, while many English officials and 
others who know the people consider that they are not. 

36 o 

Burmese Aspirations 

The experiment of Dyarchy has been tried on the country 
for some years, and not altogether without success if 
allowance be made for the Oriental conception of efficiency, 
which allowance the English official mind is not, however, 
over disposed to concede. But the spirit now alive in 
Burma does not willingly accept government imposed from 
outside, and it would seem rather as though the Burmese 
are going to have much more to say in the administration 
of their country than has hitherto been the case, and that, 
whether the Oriental conception of efficiency be desirable 
or not, it will have to be to some extent accepted. 

In considering Burma, the influence of immediate 
proximity of the kingdom of Siam, to the eastward, seems 
to have been not much noticed, although it has considerable 
bearing upon the matter. The Siamese and Burmese have 
much in common. They both belong to the Mongol 
division of the human race, are both more or less crossed 
with Shan, Karen, and Talaing blood and consequently 
resemble each other in outward appearance ; while, being 
co-religionists, living in the same kind of country, enjoying 
the same sort of climate, and eating the same sort of 
food, their mental equipment and their philosophy and 
mode of life are also very much alike. Moreover, having 
been neighbours, with a long land frontier, for seven or 
eight hundred years at the lowest computation, frequent 
wars and mutual invasions have brought them well ac- 
quainted and to a certain extent related. 

Eighty years ago there was practically nothing to choose 
between the two nations. Both were in a state of blissful 
ignorance of Western civilization, and perceived but dimly 
the existence of a world beyond the confines of Further 
India. Each was ruled by an Absolute Despot, whose 
people considered him the most important personage in 
the universe, accepted as right and proper the yoke that 
he placed on their necks, and had no ambitions to emerge 
from conditions of life that seemed to them ideal. 

But about that time circumstances intervened and drove 
both peoples on the beginnings of the steep and difficult 
path of modern development, the motive force being, in 
the one case, the impact of Western civilizing power, and, 
in the other, the coming of a native ruler of perspicacity, 
who saw that only by self-development could his people 
escape a similar subjugation. The ascent has been a 
laborious one in both places, marked by popular resent- 
ments, reluctances, mutterings, even rebellions, with now 
and then a backward slip on the part of the propelling 

Burmese Aspirations 3^^ 

powers. But progress has been more or less continuous, 
and now, after many years, has produced significant 

It is scarcely surprising if the Burman, viewing these 
results and comparing his present state with that of his 
neighbour, finds small reason for personal satisfaction. 
For he beholds himself today still in a condition of tutelage, 
with little say in the management of his affairs, and sees 
his country still loitering on the threshold of emancipation, 
while his neighbour has established himself amongst the 
free and independent Sovereign States of the world. 

The Burman feels in his heart that he is as good a man as 
any Siamese. History tells him that in the ancient wars 
Burma was as often the conqueror as not. In the English 
schools of law, medicine, and engineering, the fields where he 
nowadays encounters Siamese rivals, he acquits himself as 
well as they do. In agricultural pursuits, in manufactures and 
the arts, they cannot beat him. And yet, if he goes to 
Bangkok, he finds himself in a city with a King and a 
Cabinet of Ministers, all Siamese, capably administering a 
prosperous and peaceful country by approved Western 
methods. He sees an enlightened Court where Representa- 
tives of all the Powers vie with each other in extolling the 
working of the institutions and of the achievements of the 
Siamese nation, with no reservations as to the inadequacy 
of the Oriental conception of efficiency. He sees signs of 
active economic development everywhere and a growing 
commerce in which all nations freely and peacefully partici- 
pate : and he hears of a financial organization that, without 
undue taxation, produces an annual surplus calling forth en- 
comiums from the foremost European financial experts. And 
when, returning home, he waxes querulous regarding the dis- 
crepancies between Siamese and Burmese achievements, he 
is told that this is a state of affairs only to be expected 
because his people, unlike the Siamese, are still far from 
ripe for the assumption of the cares and responsibilities of 

Naturally he looks to his rulers for explanation of these 
phenomena. At any time during the last forty years or so 
he has been told that one of the chief reasons for the 
presence of the British in his country is in order that the 
Burmese may learn how to govern themselves, and whether 
he altogether believes in that statement or not, he has been 
given a perfect right to do so. He may therefore, perhaps, 
be pardoned if, contrasting the unripeness of the Burmese, 
fostered by British care, with the maturity of the Siamese, 


Burmese Aspirations 

inspired entirely from within, he exhibits signs of impa- 
tience with his lot and a lack of gratitude towards his 
instructors. Considering the activities of agitators, always 
at his elbow, it is rather to his credit that he admits a degree 
of honesty of intention in his rulers. He knows that, 
whatever may have been their sentiments in the past, they 
are now aware that the secret of the preservation of the 
Empire lies not in coercion but in freedom ; that they are 
honestly, if clumsily, striving towards that freedom and 
believe that through political education it will be attained. 

It is in the methods adopted for this education, and the 
poor results obtained, that the chief trouble lies ; of which 
trouble, Separationists think, the connection with India is 
the cause. They feel that, a late addition to the Indian 
Empire, they have not received that individual attention to 
which, as a considerable nation, they are entitled ; but have 
been treated as the youngest and least important member 
of the family as it were ; fed on scraps and dressed in 
garments left over from the other members and not 
necessarily suited to their peculiar digestion or figure ; 
judged by standards set up for others and restricted in their 
ambitions by the limitations of their elders. They think 
that as a separate entity under the British Crown they would 
have progressed further than they have done, and by now 
might have been better prepared to enter the comity of 
self-governing nations within the Empire than is at present 
the case. They fervently hope that the outcome of the 
Statutory Commission and of the coming Round Table 
Conference may be, for them, a setting forth, untrammelled 
by the Indian connection, upon a journey the end of which 
shall be an honorable position amongst the free peoples of 
the Empire, and a full realization of their own national 




By Mrs. C. M. Salwey 

Among the objects useful for barter and exchange by 
the people of Pitcairn there is a species of sea-bird, which 
is highly prized and sought for. This is a red-tailed tropic 
bird, already mentioned, whose generic name is Phaethon 
rubrtcaudus. Its peculiarity is in having two bright crimson 
and green mid-ribbed, unadorned tail feathers, consisting 
only with just a suspicion of growth on either side. These 
featherless mid-ribs are sixteen or more inches in length, 
and constitute the only show of tail from which the bird 
derives its name. But at the base there is an indication of 
ordinary feather, which is half hidden by the crossed wings 
when the bird is at rest on the ground. The body is 
covered with beautiful soft feathers of many light tints, 
greyish-white and palest yellow in places. By the long 
red beak and the extended black circle round its keen 
eyes this distinguished South Sea ornithological specimen 
can be recognized. It finds a home and congregates in 
and around the uninhabited island of O-in-6, 75 miles 
from Pitcairn, to which perilous trips are occasionally 

Pitcairn has been called the “ loneliest island of the vast 
Pacific Ocean.” We can state on good authority that a 
means of communication has now been arranged for, in 
order that the inhabitants may get in touch with ships 
passing at a great distance that would not otherwise take 
any notice of Outlook Rock, which is the chief feature 
of this island. It is with pleasure that we are able to 
state that the Marconi International Marine Com- 
munication Co. have presented the islanders with a 
wireless transmitter, which was shipped from London 
in July by the New Zealand Shipping Co. in their 
s.s. Ruahine. 

This magnificent present has lessened considerably the 
isolation hitherto experienced. The narrowness and rocky 
nature of the entrance into Bounty Bay preventing ships 
from entering, heroic deeds formerly undertaken in little 
open boats used to be the only means of learning news 
from the outside world. 

Through the courtesy of the Marconi International 
Marine Communication Co. Ltd., a photograph of this 

364 Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 

instrument is here given for the interest of those who 
understand its wonderful machinery (Fig. D). 

It was in 1921 that the islanders obtained a simple crystal 
receiver which provided the first means of breaking down 
their extreme isolation. Then a group of Pitcairn men 
began labouring to learn the Morse keys and buzzers lent 
or given to them by the Marconi operators aboard the ships 
that called. 

By the aid of the crystal receiver the men were able to 
pick up from passing ships messages, greetings, and news 
of the world’s happenings ; also information in advance 
from the far ships that called from time to time, particularly 
those of the New Zealand Shipping Co. A further stride 
forward in the wireless history of the island was made in 
1926, when they were again given a Marconi Type 31 
ship’s crystal receiver. 

With an aerial 180 feet long, supported in the middle by 
a single mast 70 feet high, they have obtained excellent 
results with this set, and on one occasion they received 
messages over a distance of 400 miles from a ship approach- 
ing on the side of the island which is screened by a large 
hill (Outlook Rock).* 

By means of this valuable gift the inhabitants of Pitcairn 
Island not only receive messages from passing ships, but 
they can now reply and send their own messages. This 
idea being a possibility, inspired Mr. F. McCoy to qualify 
himself for the working of a wireless transmitter. With 
this intention he started on a voyage of 3,000 miles to 
New Zealand in order to carry out his wish to study and 
qualify for such a post, knowing it would prove a blessing 
to the whole of the community. Never resting after his 
examinations were passed successfully, he worked his way 
out to England in order to see the electrical machinery of 
this wonderful wireless transmitter, as well as the world 
beyond his lonely sea-girt home !f 

* This information has been placed at my service by the Marconi 
International Marine Communication Co., and the kind permission to 
reproduce in this monograph a photograph of the wireless transmitter 
accompanying the above information. — The Author. 

t Description of the Photographic Plate of Instru 7 nent . — “ Marconi 
^ kilowatt rotary spark transmitter with crystal receiver has been presented 
by the Marconi International Marine Communication Co. Ltd., to Pitcairn. 
The instrument case is divided into three compartments. The receiver 
and the control for the motor are in the top, the high frequency tuning 
circuits and power transformer in the centre, and the motor with a rotating 
spark discharger is in the bottom of the cabinet.” 

This description is from a letter of explanation from the above Company 
received by the author, September, 1928. 

Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 365 

Work on the island is undertaken very early in the 
morning. Those who understand the cultivation of food- 
producing trees and other vital matters make an early start, 
and are follow'ed later by the women with the breakfast. 
The men who are not employed in this cultivation of the 
land stay at home and manipulate hand-made goods for 
selling to passing passenger ships when they call — walking- 
sticks, fans, boxes of all kinds, model ships in full sail, and 
such-like articles. The women, also, who remain, con- 
tribute their share to the list of saleable goods when not 
busy in the homes. The women weave pretty little baskets, 
string shells and beads or seeds for curtain requisites or 
necklaces, and other little gifts are made as “ A present 
from Pitcairn.” The work of sawing and felling the trees 
is heavy, being effected by simple hand labour. The men, 
who are half-castes, are strong and sturdy. Some of them 
are, however, fair with blue eyes and light hair ; others are 
very dark and good-looking. 

The temperature is warm and enervating, especially for 
women who have to work. 

June is the busy month requiring all hands for labour. 
It is then that the preparation of sugar is undertaken, and 
the people are required for cutting and grinding the sugar- 
cane. When prepared in this way it has to be boiled with 
molasses before it is fit for use. Arrowroot is their next 
consideration, for this also has to be dug and ground and 
carefully stowed away till requisitioned ; but it is also sold, and 
realizes a considerable sum if in good condition and 

The people make their own grinding machines out of 
heavy timber and empty nail drums. They make their 
own salt from boiled sea-water. But the most interesting 
industry of all is the making of tee molasses. It is like 
wheat honey. Tee is extracted from the large roots of a 
certain tree.* 

These roots are cooked for two days in very large ovens. 
When sufficiently tender, the roots are cut up into shreds 
and slices, and then placed in boxes packed tightly, or 
pressed between two boards, until all the juice is extracted ; 
afterwards the tee is dried and packed ready for use. 

This form of tee is thus produced in a primitive fashion, 
but the juice of oranges and lemons, which are abundant, 
together with the milk from the cocoanut, afford a variety 
wherewith to quench thirst, even for such a large popula- 

The tee plant is a native of Panama district. 

366 Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 

tion dependent for liquid nourishment on an island where 
water is so scarce and which covers such a small area.* 

This tee is quite different from that which we enjoy from 
Ceylon, Assam, India, China, and Japan, and cannot be so 
palatable derived from roots instead of leaves. Neverthe- 
less much labour and interest are expended on bringing it 
to perfection. 

But we may surely include among the many wonders of 
the world of Nature the manner in which these isolated and 
bare islands, scattered over vast seas, become in the first 
instance capable of producing and nourishing vegetation. 
It is a question often puzzled over, and one that many 
enquirers would like answered. This, however, has been 
explained to us by those explorers who have investigated 
the matter and solved the seeming mystery for our benefit. t 

Small islands, in the first place, are generally the result 
of earthquakes — viz., upheavals from beneath the sea. 
Ejected from the deeps and built up from beneath, they 
possibly develop eventually into a hard molten state on the 
surface of the water. A cool atmosphere turns these 
erupted masses into many dense, rocky platforms. In this 
state they are naturally barren. The other alternative 
substance or primary foundation is, as is well known, the 
work of myriads of coral insects — or the labour of minute 
life in the sea. This goes on year after year, age after age, 
the structure ever tending upward to the light and air, 
until it finally appears above the water-line sufficient to 
form a foundation. This has to be necessarily strong 
enough to battle with the elements, maintain its appointed 
place, and finally receive the benediction of the sun, the 
“ useful trouble of the rain,” and the fierce onslaught of the 
rolling waves and typhoons. Then against this coral 
obstacle, or formation, the debris of jetsam and flotsam of 
the vast expanse of water is washed up and borne along by 
tide and strain of weather, when it finally drifts to the coral 
floors. Broken shells, decaying seaweed, driftwood, bones 
of fishes and marine monsters, lumber from shipwrecks, 
torn branches of decaying vegetation, all find an anchorage. 
These, with many other substances too numerous to mention, 

* This information was contributed to the author’s MS. by a New 
Zealand lady. Miss Harriet Ross, who has been a resident on Pitcairn 
Island for some time. This scarcity of water — which is only procurable 
from springs, not rivers — proves that Pitcairn is not a coral island. There 
is no lagoon in its centre, only fertile, humid valleys between the high rock 
ridges on either side, and, in fact, around its circumference. 

t “The Cocoanut Palm,” by W. B. Lord, Royal Artillery. Nature 
and Art, vol. ii. Day and Son, 1867. 

Pitcairn Island of the South Pcuific Ocean 367 

amalgamate in process of time into a highly nutritive sub- 
stance of soil, suitable for producing new and living plants. 
Then, carried along by the swell of the tide, a fallen cocoa- 
nut or seed from some far-away island drifts to the coral 
elevation or is dashed against this foundation by the fury 
of a gale ; battered by the waves, it takes root and 

Surviving storms and hurricanes, it grows upward into a 
stately tree producing nuts of its own which, when arrived at 
perfection, ripen and fall with a thud into the soil by their 
own weight, until these palms become a forest in themselves, 
bearing and providing food as well as other requirements 
for the use of man. Eventually, into these palm-trees at 
intervals at certain times of the year migratory birds come 
to roost when passing from one country to another in search 
of rest for their weary wings, or for shelter if overtaken by 
inclement weather. Some die of exhaustion ; then, from 
the undigested food in their crops, other seeds spring into 
life. Nature in her economy finds the way to continue her 
plan of regeneration, for the bodies of these winged wan- 
derers in death and decay add nourishment that the seeds 
and ultimate plants therefrom require to sustain vitality and 
gain perfection ! 

The cocoanut-palm is found growing in many of the 
islands of the Pacific. It is most prolific in the coral group, 
but in Pitcairn it thrives and every portion of the tree is of 
use. Formerly it provided clothing. The fibre of the outer 
shell was beaten and woven into a coarse material ; some 
writers have also described the inner bark of the paper 
mulberry as being useful for this necessity. It is called 
Tapu cloth. 

It takes from fifteen to twenty years at least to bring a 
small cocoanut-palm to perfection, capable of producing 
fruit. The shell is used for many purposes. Drinking- 
cups are made from it. In New Guinea spoons are carved 
out of the smaller shells, and in these, strange as this 
may read and stranger still to believe, pearls have been 
found. These, of course, are rare and very valuable. Sir 
David Morris, in a lecture given before the Natural Science 
Society in Bournemouth in September, 1928, remarked 
that these pearls are almost identical in chemical composi- 
tion with pearls found in oysters, except for their brilliancy. 
They are egg-shaped, but not so very small. 

Copra, which is another ingredient of the cocoanut, is a 
most useful item on account of its waxy substance, which is 
not only employed for producing light and feeding it, but 

368 Pitcairn Island of the South Pacific Ocean 

also enters into the composition of varnish and furniture and 
wood polish. 

Cocoanut-oil is a great addition to the articles of com- 
merce from the Pacific seas. From 100 nuts 2 gallons of 
oil can be extracted. In America it is used in the prepara- 
tion of soap, cosmetics, and other toilet dainties. The 
long leaves of the cocoanut-trees that cluster at the summit 
are used for thatching, the bark for palings, torches, ropes, 
and an endless variety of domestic articles which neither 
ourselves nor the dwellers of lonely islands can possibly do 
without. So our beautiful little possession, this fair spot, 
is blessed indeed, and her wants are provided by Nature. 
The island produces the daily necessities for the inhabi- 
tants, who are grateful. God-fearing people who have 
passed from a state of darkness, treachery, and abandon- 
ment to perceive the Light of Light. They are described 
by those of other lands who sojourn among them as living 
in perfect peace and contentment though of different 
nationalities, working for and with each other, relying on 
the goodness of an ever-watchful Providence. They only 
occasionally lack suitable clothing, and have to rely on 
passing vessels or the thoughtfulness of friends at a dis- 
tance to supply this necessary comfort. However, the 
photograph lately received will show that clothes have been 
provided and secured, and that the ladies as well as the rest 
of the community are not behind the fashion as regards 
their costume. Now that the gift of the Marconi Inter- 
national Marine Communication Co. has been received, 
it will be easy to secure all that is required from New 
Zealand and elsewhere. 




By Dr. Lanka Sundaram, m.a., ph.d.(lond.), 


Thirty years after India had passed from the hands of 
John Company to the care of the Government of Great 
Britain, her place in the British Empire underwent a 
thorough change. This transformation was due to a large 
extent to the work of the old Colonial Conferences which 
gave place to the Imperial Conferences of the present 
century- It is my intention here to sketch as briefly as 
possible this unique feature of British statesmanship. 

The origin of the Colonial Conferences was not at all 
fortuitous. In her speech proroguing the Houses of 
Parliament in 1876, Queen Victoria drew attention to “ the 
interest which, in an increasing degree, is evinced by the 
people of this country in the welfare of their colonial and 
Indian fellow-subjects,” and indicated the necessity for 
closer consultation between the home authorities and the 
governments of the self-governing colonies.* The first 
Colonial Conference of 1887 was the direct result of this 

The functions of the Conference were purely consultative 
and intended to oecure unanimity in matters of common 
interest to the Empire, such as military defence and com- 
mercial facilities in their widest connotation. The Con- 
ference was presided over by the Secretary of State for 
Colonies, Sir Henry Thurston Holland, who had recently 
succeeded Edward Stanhope, who was responsible for the 
original communication to the colonial governments 
intimating the organization of the Conference. On April 4, 
1887, the Marquis of Salisbury, the Premier, welcomed the 
Governors of the self-governing colonies; and Viscount 
Cross, G.C.B., Secretary of State for India, was formally 
present along with other members of the Cabinet. On 
May 4 the delegates proceeded to Windsor and presented 

* Edward Stanhope to the Governors of Colonies under Responsible 
Government, November, 25, 1886. in Proceedings of the Colonial Con- 
ference, 1887. Vol. I., p. vii. C. 5,091. 


2 A 


India and the Imperial Conference 

an address to the Queen and (offered their felicitations 
on Her Majesty’s fifty years’ prosperous rule, which 
“witnessed the number of your . . . subjects of the 
Asiatic race in your Indian Empire [increase] from 96 
millions to 254 millions,”* but no official representation for 
India was secured at this Conference. 

But the question of Indian interests immediately pre- 
sented itself to the delegations to the Conference. The 
point that gave occasion to considerable anxiety to the 
Conference centred round the plea for exemption of 
Australia to contribute towards the maintenance of cable 
communications in the Empire traversing the Indian 
Continent. Edward H. Rea, Joint Assistant Secretary to 
the Post Office of Great Britain, submitted a memorandum 
to the effect that Australia need not contribute on account 
of the Imperial Contract for the India and China services. 
The Conference then made a reference to the India Office 
with a view to elicit their opinion in regard to the Indian 
transit rates for telegraphic communications. f The India 
Office, at this time presided over by Lord George Hamilton, 
simply forwarded to the Conference a copy of the Dispatch 
of the Government of India of February 2, 1886, which 
gave a remarkable exposition of the Indian interests in 
regard to the proposed concessions to Australia in the 
matter of the Eastern telegraphic communications.]; 

In a masterly survey of the question, § Lord Dufferin’s 
government pointed out that Australia was entirely 
dependent upon the Eastern Extension Company for its 
telegraphic connections, and that the tariff on messages was 
“ so high as to be almost prohibitive.” Of the 12-90 francs 
charged for every word, the Eastern Telegraphic Company, 
which controlled the route between England and India, 
secured 3 50 francs, the Government of India -75 francs, 
and the Eastern Extension Company administering the 
route between India and Australia 8-65 francs. The 
Australian governments’ plea for a reduction of the Indian 
transit rates, the Government of India contended, was 
“unfair.” They further pointed out that the Australian 
governments have made a “bad bargain” with the 
Eastern Extension Company and were “not in a position 
to secure fair treatment for themselves except on the 
Company’s terms.” 

They then asked the question, “ How far should we be 

* Ihid . , p. xiii. 

i Conference to India Office, April 20. 1887. Ibid., p. 341. 

; India Office to Conference, April 21. Ibid., p. 342. 

§ Ibid., pp. 342-46. 

India and the Imperial Conference 37 * 

justified in risking the interests of this country in order to 
extricate the Australian governments from their dilemma 
and to secure for them an advantage for which they have 
no claim on this country, but to which they are certainly 
in equity entitled?” They observed that, even though 
India was entitled to a tariff of a franc per word, they were 
contented with the existing rate of -75 franc, and argued 
for the retention of the latter on grounds of moderation in 
equity, the amount of the work done by the Indian depart- 
ment, and of policy. They finally rounded off their 
dispatch in the following remarkable manner : 

“ India is not now in a position to make any gratuitous sacrifice 
of revenue whatever, still less would it be politic to yield to a demand 
which is openly declared to be made with a view to eventually 
wresting from this country the whole of its revenue.” 

Sir Arthur Blyth, Agent-General for Southern Australia, 
recognized that the Government of India would “very 
much deprecate any interference with the revenue of 
India,” and the episode ended in a signal victory for the 
greatest dependency of the Empire. 

The second Colonial Conference was held at Ottawa in 
1894, and no problems concerning India were discussed.* 
The celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Queen 
Victoria’s accession in 1897! brought the premiers of the 
self-governing colonies to London, and their presence was 
made use of for the third Colonial Conference.^ The 
great statesman Joseph Chamberlain was Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, and his idealism and genuineness 
were put at the service of India during the deliberations of 
the Conference. Already the activities of the recently 
established Indian National Congress might have had their 
echoes in Great Britain and might have produced a pro- 
found effect upon Chamberlain. Again, Mr. M. K. 
Gandhi’s work in South Africa on behalf of the Indian 
domiciled community there also had its repercussions on 
British statesmanship and policy. In a memorandum pre- 
sented to this Conference, Chamberlain surveyed the recent 
legislation passed by the legislatures in some of the self- 
governing colonies against Asiatic and particularly Indian 
labour, and delivered one of his finest perorations in the 
cause of humanity in general and India in particular. I 
do not hesitate to quote the particular portion of his speech 
in full, since it shows the lofty idealism of the departed 

* See C. 7,553 and C. 7,824. 

t See C. 8,596. 

I C. 8,596, pp. 13-14. 

372 India and the Imperial Conference 

statesman, even though it did not have any immediate 
effect on the Conference.* 

“ One other question I have to mention, and only one; that is, I 
wish to direct your attention to certain legislation which is in process 
of consideration or which has been passed by some of the Colonies 
in regard to the immigration of aliens, particularly Asiatics. 

“ I have seen these Bills, and they differ in some respects one 
from the other, but there is none of them, e.xcept perhaps the Bill 
which comes to us from Natal, to which we can look with s.atisf action. 

I wish to say that Her Majesty’s Government thoroughly appreciate 
the objects and needs of the Colonies in dealing with this matter. 
We quite sympathize with the determination of the white inhabitants 
of these Colonies, which are in comparatively close proximity to 
millions and hundreds of millions of Asiatics, that there shall not be 
an influx of people alien in civilization, alien in religion, alien in cus- 
toms, whose influx, moreover, would most seriously interfere with the 
legitimate rights of the existing labour population. An immigration 
of that kind must, I quite understand, in the interests of the Colonies, 
be prevented at all hazards, and we shall not offer any opposition to 
the proposals intended with that object, but w'e ask you also to bear 
in mind the traditions of the mind, the traditions of the Empire, 
which makes no distinction in favour of, or against, race or colour ; 
and to exclude, by reason of their colour, or even all Asiatics, would 
be an act so offensive to those peoples that it would be most painful, 
I am quite certain, to Her Majesty to have to sanction it. 

“ Consider what has been brought to your notice during your 
visit to this country. The United Kingdom owns as its brightest 
and greatest dependency that enormous Empire of India, with 
300,000,000 of subjects, who are as loyal to the Crown as you are 
yourselves, and among them there are hundreds and thousands of 
men who are every w'hit as civilized as we are ourselves, who are, if 
that is anything, better born in the sense that they have older 
traditions, who are men of wealth, men of cultivation, men of dis- 
tinguished valour, men who have brought whole armies and placed 
them at the service of Queen, and have in times of great difficulty 
and trouble — such, for instance, as on the occasion of the Indian 
Mutiny — saved the Empire by their loyalty. I say you, who have 
seen all this, cannot be willing to put upon those men a slight which 
I think is absolutely necessary for your purpose, and which w'ould 
be calculated to provoke ill-feeling, discontent, irritation, and would 
be most unpalatable to the feelings not only of Her Majesty the 
Queen, but of all her people. 

“ What I venture to think you have to deal with is the character 
of the immigration. It is not because a man is of a different colour 
from ourselves that he is necessarily an undesirable immigrant, but 
it is because he is dirty, or he is immoral, or he is a pauper, or he 
has some other objection which can be defined in an Act of Parlia- 
ment, and by which exclusion can be managed with regard to all 
those whom you really desire to exclude. Well, gentlemen, this is 
a matter, I am sure, for friendly consultation between us. As I 
have said, the Colony of Natal has arrived at an arrangement which 
is absolutely satisfactory to them. I believe ; and remember, they 
have if possible even greater interest than you, because they are 
closer to the immigration which has already begun there on a very 
large scale, and they have adopted legislation which they believe 

* C. 8,596, pp. 13-14. 


India and the Imperial Conference 

will give them all that they want, and to which the objection I have 
taken does not apply, which does not come in conflict with this 
sentiment which I am sure you share with us j and I hop>e, therefore, 
that during your visit it may be possible for us to arrange a form of 
words which will avoid hurting the feelings of any of Her Majesty’s 
subjects, while at the same time it would amply protect the Australian 
Colonies against any invasion of the class to which they would justly 
object. ” 

But Chamberlain’s efforts were not crowned with definite 
results, and the Conference in a cryptic resolution recorded 
their views in the following manner :* 

“ On the question of the legislative measures which have been 
passed by various colonies for the exclusion of coloured immigrants, 
a full exchange of views took place, and though no definite agreement 
was reached at the meeting, as the Premiers desired to consult their 
colleagues and parliaments on the subject. Her Majesty’s Govern- 
ment have every expectation that the natural desire of the Colonies 
to protect themselves against an overwhelming influx of Asiatics can 
be attained without placing a stigma upon any of Her Majesty’s 
subjects on the sole ground of race or colour.” 

Actually the position of the Indian domiciled in different 
parts of the Empire was considerably modified during the 
early years of the present century, and this in the face of the 
above resolution. But Chamberlain’s idealism triumphed 
to a great extent during the post-war period. 

The fourth Colonial Conference was held in 1902, but 
once again India was left out of its purview, t 

The fifth Colonial Conference was held in 1907. In 
1905 efforts were made to put the Conference on a per- 
manent footing, and several suggestions were put forward 
for its better organization. Paragraph 13 of the Circular 
of the Secretary of State for Colonies of April 20, 1905, 
states that “ India, whenever her interests required it, 
would also be represented.” if Thus nearly thirty years 
after the birth of the Colonial Conference, which at this 
moment was renamed the Imperial Council, India was able 
to secure representation in a very perfunctory manner. § 
When the Conference was presided over by the Earl of 
Elgin in 1907, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the 
Premier, informed the delegates that Sir J. L. Mackay of 
the India Council will intervene “ if any question should 
arise with regard to India. ”|| The time was still to come 
when India was able to secure representation on a broader 
and more popular basis. 

* C. 8,596, p. 18. 

t See Cd. 1,229; Cd. 1,597; and 1,723. 

t Cd. 2,785. p. 3. 

§ See also Cd. 3,337 and Cd. 3,340. 

II Cd. 3,404, p. 4. 

{To be continued^) 


By F. R. Bagley 

The conditions of life in India sixty-five years ago were 
so different from what they are now that it may be of 
some interest to the younger generation to read of what 
their fathers had to undergo in the days before railways, 
electricity and motor-cars, and unlimited ice. 

It will be simplest, perhaps, to sketch some of the details 
of my own life when I joined as an assistant engineer in 
the Public Works Department in 1871 at the age of 
nineteen years. 

My first post was on the construction of the Saugor Road 
in the Central Provinces. My establishment consisted of 
a tent, a horse or two, and the usual seven servants, who 
in those days cost me altogether about ^ 2 a month. I pay 
more than that now to one of them. 

Food was cheap, grain for the horse was procurable at 
forty to sixty-four seers to the rupee. Fowls were two- 
pence each. The country swarmed with small game so 
that one could live on one’s own gun. One lived on 
chupatties instead of white bread, but was none the worse 
for that. Life on the whole was primitive, but comfortable 
and healthy, and pleasant beyond words. 

The country was a sportsman’s paradise, swarming with 
black buck, chinkara, and small game, such as partridges, 
peafowl, and jungle fowl, all over the place, and a rare 
tiger, a few bison, and many sambhar in adjacent jungles. 

One lived for shikar and riding, to hunt the jackal and 
hare with two or three “ long dogs.” 

I was out at dawn every morning with my gun and rifle 
after jungle fowl or sambhar or small deer making their 
way home to the jungle after feeding in the fields during 
the night, and generally finished up every evening with a 
similar stroll when peacock or flighting wild fowl were to 
be looked for. No big bags, of course, but enough to 
shoot at to keep one keen and alert. All day, while riding 
out on one’s work, a gun and rifle accompanied on the 
chance, and were often used on animals one met casually. 

Every week-end there was a big game shoot in the 
adjacent reserved forest, arranged for by a shikari, who was 
engapd permanently to get khabar, and do the “tying 
out, and make all arrangements for machans and beaters. 


The India of Sixty-five Years Ago 

And the point of it was the cheapness of it, which put 
such first-rate sport within the reach of young men starting 
in life. Money went such a long way in those days. A 
competent shikari could be had for six rupees a month 
(and an occasional douceur on successful results), and 
beaters would come out for two annas a day and a share of 
any meat that was shot, and the fun of it. 

It was one of the chief attractions of India to a keen 
young man that he could get an open-air life of riding and 
shooting so easily. Things are very much changed since 
those days. There is very much less game, and one has 
to go a long way for it, needing elaborate and expensive 
prepartions and “bandobast,” and time and money only 
within the reach of the few. 

On the other hand, the use of the motor-car makes things 
much easier for the man out after big bags of wild fowl or 
snipe or partridges, as he can get from one “ hot corner ” 
to another so quickly and easily, but that is not exactly the 
same thing. 

At that time, in 1871, railways had made some progress 
in India, and machine-made ice was procurable where they 
were within reach, but my earlier recollections are of ice 
made in many thousands of small earthenware saucers laid 
out nightly on the ground in nests of straw. This was 
more or less frozen by the morning, and the results collected 
and tamped tightly in underground pits called “icehouses ” 
for use months later when the hot weather came on. This 
ice was dirty and too full of straw to mix in drinks, but 
was used in the icebox of the day, a “ pitara ” or wadded 
conical-topped basket, in which bottles of water or beer 
or wine were cooled to a very satisfactory extent. 

The three innovations in particular which have made 
India a different place to live in are ice, electric fans, and 

Of course, the elder generations made their efforts to 
ease the heat conditions by various cooling arrangements. 
Besides the dirty ice in pitaras, there was snow obtainable 
at places not too far from the hills, and various cooling 
devices of more or less efficacy. 

The abdar in the verandah with his freezing mixtures 
twirled about in a great bowl during meals supplied cool 
drinks satisfactorily, and “ Khas Khas tatties,” or screens 
of scented grass, kept constantly wetted, made a very cool 
and fragrant atmosphere in the shut-up house as long as 
the dry hot winds blew, as they did regularly all the hot 
weather, and there were dark and cool underground 


The India of Sixty-five Years Ago 

“ taikhanas ” for a reatreat during the time of scorching 
heat, when all those not working in offices retired for a 
siesta, till the comparative cool of the evening allowed of 
life in the open air. 

At the offices were thermantidotes, or mechanical fans 
blowing in air cooled by passing through Khas Khas 
screens, and, of course, there were punkhas everywhere. 

But these luxuries were not for the poorer classes, and 
the constant sleepiness of the punkha wallas was an 
exasperating trial, annoying beyond belief to those who 
have not experienced it. 

But, with all these palliatives, life was very trying in the 
hot weather before the common use of ice and the electric 
fans changed the two most objectionable of its conditions 
to a much more tolerable state of things. 

The introduction of the motor-car has also materially 
changed the conditions under which we live, but has not 
been an unmixed blessing. In many respects one of the 
chief joys of India was the horse or pony in universal use 
for duty, or pleasure, or sport. 

The poorest young subaltern or budding official could 
afford to keep one or two ponies and a “tum-tum,” and 
play polo, or go pig-sticking on cheap mounts, or enter his 
pony in the mofussil race meeting, or go out hunting with 
the “ bobbery pack.” 

Early morning riding parties were fashionable and very 
pleasant functions, and all but long journeys were made 
usually on horseback. Horses, in fact, made a great part 
of our lives and conversation. 

Bringing up the animals to be fed twice a day under the 
master’s or mistress’s eye was an almost sacred rite, and to 
see the horses properly groomed and looked after was a 
primary duty of the careful housekeeper. 

All that delightful part of life for the younger generation 
has now almost entirely departed. 

For longer journeys beyond a day’s march, we had the 
“dakghari” or the ‘‘palki dak,” which were slow as 
compared with rail or motor-car, but had their picturesque 
and adventurous aspects, not without charm. What we 
should call a waste of time in these days mattered little 
when nobody was in a hurry. 

There is, of course, polo and pig-sticking still to be had, 
and racing is going stronger than ever, but the price of 
horses has quadrupled, and they are now luxuries for the 
rich man. 

It is astonishing to see the extent to which the motor-car 

The India of Sixty-five Years Ago 377 

has displaced the horse. In a large civil station of about 
twenty sahibs, where thirty years ago every man would 
have had one horse at least, and probably two or three, 
there is not now an animal kept for riding, except one by 
the Forest Officer (bound to maintain one quadruped to 
draw his allowance), and he rarely using it. Every man 
now possesses a motor-car instead, and it means a much 
less healthy and manly life. 

The fashions in food and drink and smokes have also 
changed considerably. 

When I was a boy the hookah was in common use for 
the older men, and was brought in regularly after meals, 
served with much ceremony and discussion of the brand 
of scented tobacco in use. The younger men rejoiced in 
“ Trichay ” cigars at is. (rupee) a hundred ! or smoked a 
pipe. The particular men who could afford it indulged in 
“ Manilla ” cigars. 

It was amusing when talking recently to my bathchair 
man, an ex-Tommy who served his seven years in India 
fifty years ago, to learn that his chief recollection of the 
country, and the pleasantest, was the cheapness of the 
“smokes” available. Incidentally, I found that he 
recollected with special appreciation the long route marches 
that were customary in the days before railways or cars, 
when troops changed their stations. 

Regarding food, it is growing to be the fashion nowadays 
to approximate the menu to what it would generally include 
in England, with a certain “killing of tins” to provide 
fish and fruit not available locally. It was far different in 
those days, when Oriental forms of cookery were highly 
appreciated and canned food almost unknown. 

Pilaus and curries (thirty-six kinds of them) appeared 
frequently on the bill of fare, and a good curry cook 
commanded high wages. 

The difficulty of getting good beef in a country where 
the cow is sacred led to the discovery that “grain-fed” 
mutton cannot be beaten, and with the domestic fowl in 
cutlet or curry or “ spatch cock” formed the staple of the 
dishes appearing on our tables. 

Fowls were phenomenally cheap, about a penny each for 
“curry chickens,” and are still only 2d. each in jungle 

I was once fed very cheaply on a chicken a day, with dal 
and rice, for nearly a fortnight, half of it as stew and curry 
for breakfast, and the other half as cutlet and curry for 
dinner ! On another occasion, w'hen I lived for two years 


The India of Sixty-five Years Ago 

in Burma where we could get neither beef nor mutton, my 
stable-companion, who was a statistician and kept careful 
accounts, calculated that we had consumed (with our guests, 
who were numerous) an average of seven chickens and ten 
eggs a day for the whole period ! 

There was an idea that hot curries were conducive to 
livers and bad temper, but this was a groundless super- 
stition. In every tropical hot country the inhabitants are 
given to pungent and fiery spices in their foods, and there 
can be no doubt that these suit the climate and are the best 
for health, as well as very good eating, once the palate is 
educated up to them. 

The English in India at the present moment lose a great 
deal by their neglect of Oriental dishes. Anyone who has 
had a “ curry lunch ” at the Madras Club, with its twelve 
kinds of chutney, will remember it as a dream. 

Of fish we have the hilsa in Bengal, Burma, and Sind, 
which compare well with the salmon; and the seafish 
procurable in Karachi, Bombay, and Calcutta cannot be 
beaten, but in the inner districts of India away from the 
sea there is little fish consumed. 

India is supposed to be wanting in good fruit, but, as a 
matter of fact, there are most delicious mangoes, grapes, 
lichees, mangosteens, oranges, bananas, and pineapples 
for indigenous fruit, and apples, pears, and strawberries, 
the cultivation of which is being extended in suitable tracts. 

On one occasion when in Cooch Behar, when I found 
myself unexpectedly in a country where it was impossible 
to buy any food except milk, bananas, and rice, I got along 
very well for a fortnight till I got up tinned supplies from 
Calcutta. So much for the changes in diet during the last 

As to drinks, there have also been considerable changes 
in the fashions. The Indians themselves are on the whole 
very temperate and drink little but cold water. The British 
in the old days drank little but beer and “ brandy-pani,” 
both very heavy drinks for the climate, and the “ livers ” of 
those days were due to excesses in this direction much more 
than to the use of hot curries. The poorer men drank rum 
or arrack in place of the more expensive brandy. 

About 1874 Scotch whisky, “ Daniel Crawford,” began 
to come into use and mineral-waters to be largely and 
cheaply manufactured, so that a “ whisky-and-soda ” took 
the place of “ brandy-pani,” and light beers (Pilsener) and 
wines came into fashion in place of the heavy English beer 
that was the universal drink in earlier days. 

The India of Sixty-five Years Ago 


Another incentive to temperance came in with the great 
success of the plantations of Indian tea in Assam, Darjeel- 
ing, and Southern India, which soon ousted the more 
expensive and less palatable China tea, black and green, 
which we drank in the pre-Mutiny days. 

The ease with which one can get cheaply the best tea in 
the world (from Darjeeling) is one of the present assets of 
Indian life. 

The English in India now are distinctly as temperate 
as anybody elsewhere, and health statistics have improved 
proportionately. More sensible clothing has, of course, a 
great deal to do with that result, and in that connection 
the invention of the “ sola topee ” and of “ shorts ” were 
really epoch-making discoveries. We see from the old 
pictures that the original British for the first fifty years of 
their life in India adhered to thick European clothes, and 
even to top-hats ! all most unsuitable to the climate. They 
even went tiger-shooting and pig-sticking thus equipped ! 
The first headdress meant to guard against the sun was a 
cap with a flap down the back to protect the spine, and it 
was not until some years after the Mutiny of 1857 that the 
light pith helmet we call a “sola topee” came into use. 
The enormous comfort of “ shorts,” leaving the knee free 
and cool, was not discovered till about twenty-five years 
ago. They are not suitable to mosquito-infested districts, 
but everywhere else add signally to the amenities of life. 

So far it will be seen that the life of the British in India 
has changed on the whole for the better, in the way of 
health and comfort, though it has not quite the same 
attractions in shikar and equine amusements ; still — 

“ For a man with pride and an empty purse 
It is easy to live in a land that is worse.” 




By Stanley Rice 

[After an unavoidable interval, we are glad to revert to Mr. Stanley Rice’s 
leading article in this section. He is well known to readers of the Asiatic 
Review, and is the author of “The Challenge of Asia” and “Tales from 
the Mahabharata,” etc.] 

All national self-expression is most clearly manifested in 
its art. And this is true not only of the civilized nations 
but of those we call uncivilized ; it is true, too, of the various 
periods of time at which any given art had reached a 
particular stage. Nor in using the word “ art ” are we 
confined to the visual arts of painting and sculpture ; the 
national character may be expressed equally in music and 
the dance, in prose, poetry, and the drama. It is, however, 
perhaps most in literature that such character can best be 
deduced because the spoken or written word speaks more 
clearly to us than either music or the plastic arts, and there 
is less chance of misunderstanding the message or of 
quarrelling over the interpretation. We are less in danger 
of a posteriori conclusions bv which we read the known 
character of the age into the art instead of deducing the 
former from the latter — probably one of the most fruitful 
forms of error in criticism. We are, in fact, no longer 
dealing with tastes and tendencies so much as with the 
universal qualities of human nature. Not that the national 
character and the spirit of the age are entirely submerged ; 
on the contrary, they perhaps stand out all the more clearly 
because, recognizing the qualities to be universal, we are 
able to differentiate between the points of view of various 
ages and times. Eve, it is said, is simply an English girl 
in a garden ; “ Paradise Lost ” itself could only have been 
written in a sternly religious age which was equally 
incapable of producing the “ Morte d’Arthur ” and the 
‘‘ Decameron.” 

It was not, then, by chance that the Epics of Germany 
and France, of England, Rome, Greece, and India assumed 
the forms they did or adopted the subjects with which they 
deal. Each is characteristic of the age and country so far 

Women in Heroic Literature 381 

as we know it. Four out of the eight deal with war, but 
though the general subject is the same the treatment is 
entirely different. The remaining four, the “ Morte 
d’Arthur,” the“ Odyssey,” the “ .TLneid,” and the “ Rama- 
yana,” may be said to be episodic in character, though the 
episodes are grouped round a central theme, in the first 
case an order of knighthood held together by the king, in 
the remaining three the wanderings of the hero. 

Of the war group the Iliad ” shows the greatest direct- 
ness of purpose. Much thought has been expended in 
trying to interpret the inner meaning of the Trojan War as 
it has upon the inner meaning of the “ Ramayana,” but 
with such interpretations we are not here concerned ; for 
whether they be justified or not, the presentation remains 
characteristic, just as does the “ Ecce Homo” of the 
fifteenth and of the twentieth centuries. The “Iliad” is 
the history of a war conducted on an orderly scale for the 
definite object of the capture of a city ; the motive for it is 
usually kept out of sight, and, indeed, seems to be wholly 
inadequate unless the abduction of Helen has a deeper 
meaning than appears on the surface. It celebrates a 
political war as surely as the “ Song of Roland ” celebrates 
a religious war, for here we are never allowed to forget that 
Roland is the champion of Christendom against the 
heathen. The subject is not so much war as a crusade. 
On the other hand, both the “ Mahabharata ” and the 
“ Nibelungenlied ” deal with tribal war, the former no 
doubt as an organized conflict and the latter as a stupendous 
brawl, but in neither of them is the war the real essence of 
the Epic as it is in the “ Iliad.” The “Nibelungenlied” 
is founded upon the motif of revenge ; tlie “ Mahabharata ” 
upon that of renunciation. From the moment w hen Hagen 
drives his spear into Siegfried up to the moment when 
Kriemhild exults over the head of the brother whose life 
she had promised to spare, you are never allowed to lose 
sight of the spirit of revenge. In the “ Mahabharata” the 
whole origin of the war is the compulsory renunciation by 
the Pandavas of their rights to the kingdom ; the noblest 
figure is Bhishma, the only real perfect epic hero who 
is the embodiment of renunciation, having renounced in 
turn the kingdom, his own natural appetite, and, finally, by 
a special favour of the gods who had granted him the 
power to choose the time of his death, life itself. 

Of the second group the “ ^neid ” is characteristically 
Roman. Unlike the “ Odyssey,” which, of course, it copies 
in some respects, it is not so much the tale of a wanderer 


Women in Heroic Literature 

seeking his home as the great adventure of an exile who 
comes to found a new state. The theme is no longer local ; 
it is that of the foundation of the Empire which already 
under Augustus had grown to be the greatest in the world. 
The Fourth Book is in a special degree Virgil’s own, and 
the allegory is transparent. Modern criticism, looking only 
to the story, has condemned /Eneas for his desertion of the 
infatuated Dido, and has wept literary tears over the fate of 
the queen. But did Imperial Rome so regard the Fourth 
“ vEneid ” ? Consider it in conjunction with the Sixth, 
especially with that paean of triumph that closes it : 

Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento 

(Hse tibi erunt artes) pacisque imponere morem, 

Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos. 

Dido is the embodiment of hated Carthage, for whose fate 
after the lapse of a century it was permissible to heave a 
sigh, just as we may now, secure from the terror of his 
name, sympathize with the fallen Napoleon. The great 
destiny of Rome diverted to Carthage, here indeed was a 
vision to appal : 

“ With Teucrian armies,” says Anna, “at its side. 

To what a pinnacle of pride 

Will mount the Punic State !” 

The awful thought of what might have happened if 
“ Latium’s empire ” had been drawn “to Libya’s favoured 
coast” would have been present to the minds of the Imperial 
Romans, and the humanity of the story would have been 
tempered by the political reflections. Dido is thus the 
personification of Carthage, and the dagger thrust upon the 
funeral pyre typifies the victories of Scipio as surely as 
Shakespeare in the familiar words of John of Gaunt reflects 
the patriotism of Elizabethan England. But if Dido was 
a symbol of Carthage, she was also a woman, and in her 
abandonment of love and her suicidal dagger the age ol 
Virgil may well have been reminded of the passion of the 
Eastern Cleopatra and of the stoic fortitude of Cato’s 
daughter. Both the “Odyssey” and the “Ramayana” 
have a double theme, one for the hero and one for the 
heroine. In the “Odyssey” we find the essentially Greek 
idea of Man in the grip of Fate ; but it is not so fully 
developed nor so stedfastly in view as in the Greek tragedies, 
for Fate is not the abstract impersonal force which never 
appears but is always in the background. Odysseus is the 
object of the implacable hate of superhuman beings and 
especially of Hera. The “ Ramayana,” like its companion 

Women tn Heroic Literature 


Epic, is based upon renunciation. Rama is driven from his 
kingdom by the intrigues of a woman ; he accepts his fate 
and refuses to return even when entreated to do so by his 
brother. Here, then, there is no similarity, but the women 
draw nearer together. Sita has been compared to Helen, 
because both were separated from their husbands and both 
dwelt for a while in the palace of another. But the likeness 
is quite superficial. Helen is never held up as the embodi- 
ment of virtue ; she is not ravished, but seduced from Sparta, 
and she lives in Troy not as an unwilling captive but as a 
willing and honoured guest. We may, however, find a 
marked contrast between Greek and Indian conceptions of 
chastity, for in the “Odyssey” Helen is back again in 
Sparta as if nothing had happened, whereas the actually 
blameless Sita is spurned first by Rama and later by his 
people upon the mere inference that during so long a sojourn 
in Lanka she could not have preserved her chastity. We 
should,indeed, be justified in placing India far above Greece, 
if this crude idea of marriage by capture could be taken as 
a type. But the true parallel to Sita is Penelope. Both 
are living alone in imminent danger and exposed to great 
temptation ; both are loyal and chaste, and it is this loyalty 
and chastity which supply the leading idea of their charac- 
ters. In marked contrast to these are the women of the 
English Epic, for since the theme is the chivalrous deeds 
of the individual knights, the women always occupy a sub- 
ordinate place. The Guineveres and Iseults reflect the 
character of a looser and more artificial age when we com- 
pare them with the heroines of more ancient times. 

It has been necessary to say thus much about the ground- 
work of the Epics, because it is only by understanding 
thoroughly that the conceptions are conditioned by place 
and time that we can properly appreciate the portraits of 
the women characters. All except the Roman, which, 
having a special intention, introduces gods as part of the 
setting, but gives them no particular importance, bear 
strong traces of the religious atmosphere in which they were 
born. It is true that the “ Nibelungenlied” belongs to the age 
of chivalry, to the time of Etzel and Dietrich transformed 
to suit the later age, but in the saga which is the foundation 
of the German Epic speaks plainly the blood of the wild 
Vikings of the North. Only the men who worshipped the 
rugged Thor and could create the splendid and barbaric 
Valkyries could also have conceived Briinnhilde, the stormy 
queen of Issland, and Hagen the traitor, who nevertheless 
was the greatest of them all, except the incomparable 


Women in Heroic Literature 

Siegfried, who conquered the redoubtable conqueror of 
Gunther. The religious atmosphere of Homer is not so 
striking ; but the national gods were still powerful and 
fought upon the Greek side, while the essentially Asiatic 
gods, Ares and Aphrodite, favoured the Trojans. Yet here 
there is a foreshadowing of the fate that was stronger than 
the gods, for when Zeus held out his balance, much against 
his will he was fain to pronounce the doom of Hector, 
“and,’ says Homer, “Apollo left him ” because Apollo, too, 
was obedient not only to Zeus but to Fate, which was 
behind Zeus. But neither in Homer nor in the Greek 
tragedians to whom we must go for the most characteristic 
conceptions of women is religion as such strongly marked. 
In the latter especially it is rather philosophical ideas that 
take the place of theological doctrines. For religious 
influence proper we must look to the “Song of Roland” 
and to the Indian Epics. The former represents militant 
Christianity — history rather than ethics ; Christendom is 
arrayed against the Muslim invader. The Indian heroes 
and heroines, on the other hand, are the outcome of a 
philosophy which has definitely arrived at certain con- 
clusions and seeks to illustrate them ideally. External 
facts do not matter ; still less does the impression of them 
left upon the reader. The leader of the Pandava host is 
renowned neither for special skill in war — though he, too, is 
a Kshatriya — nor for wise counsel, nor for physical strength. 
But he is the son of Dharma, god of Justice, and he 
personifies all that Indians mean by “dharma.” Therefore 
it is that in the end he alone reaches heaven, while his more 
distinguished brethren and even his blameless wife have to 
endure the purifications of the Indian Hell. Bhishma, too, 
the embodiment of all that is chivalrous, respected by 
friends and foes alike, is on the losing side, which coincides 
with the powers of Darkness. Having regard to the 
essential religious tendency of all early Indian literature, we 
are surely justified in taking these two characters together 
as examples of what to the Hindu mind the perfect life 
ought to be. Neither Krishna, god-like but not yet a god, 
nor Arjuna, significantly enough the example of physical 
beauty, really illustrates the abstract conception so dear to 
the heart of Indian writers. 

Upon this background thus determined by period, race, 
and religion, are thrown the characters, male and female, and 
of the two the female show the stronger contrasts and give 
the better grounds for analysis and deduction. In all ages 
and in all countries physical courage and skill in war are 

Women in Heroic Literature 


the leading characteristics of the men, and so pronounced 
are these that all others appear subsidiary, so much so that 
parallels can often be found when the Epics belong to 
widely different races. Sie